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Syn-deformational features of Carlin-type Au deposits

January 1, 2004

Syn-deformational ore deposition played an important role in some Carlin-type Au deposits according to field and laboratory evidence, which indicates that flow of Au-bearing fluids was synchronous with regional-scale deformation events. Gold-related deformation events linked to ore genesis were distinct from high-level, brittle deformation that is typical of many epithermal deposits. Carlin-type Au deposits, with brittle-ductile features, most likely formed during tectonic events that were accompanied by significant fluid flow. Interactive deformation-fluid processes involved brittle-ductile folding, faulting, shearing, and gouge development that were focused along illite-clay and dissolution zones caused by hydrothermal alteration. Alteration along these deformation zones resulted in increased porosity and enhancement of fluid flow, which resulted in decarbonated, significant dissolution, collapse, and volume and mass reduction. Carlin-type Au deposits commonly are hosted in Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks (limestone, siltstone, argillite, shale, and quartzite) on the margins of cratons. The sedimentary basins containing the host rocks underwent tectonic events that influenced the development of stratabound, structurally controlled orebodies. Published by Elsevier Ltd.