HYDROTHERMAL MINERALS

Dr. Arifudin Idrus
Department of Geological Engineering Gadjah Mada University

the hot water dissolves materials (ions) from the surrounding rock and carries them to new locations. pH. oxygen content). pressure. As it travels.Hydrothermal minerals When hot magma resides in the crust. water in the surrounding rock is heated and begins to convect. . If the conditions of the water change (temperature. new minerals will precipitate.

disseminated deposits and grade into pegmatites. .Hydrothermal circulation in a continental setting – Minerals form in hydrothermal veins.

A hot spring on the surface is a sign of deep hydrothermal circulation. .

sulfates form “white smokers”. Sulfide minerals form “black smokers”. .Hydrothermal circulation on the ocean floor. Most minerals form when the hot water exits into the cold deep ocean water. Minerals are typically volcanogenic massive sulfides. Seawater circulates through the ridge basalt.

Hydrothermal veins .

The dark colored layers are chalcopyrite. sphalerite and galena – valuable ore minerals The white layers are quartz – a useless “gangue” mineral which must be removed .

Porphyry copper replacement deposit – copper minerals are deposited in fractured. altered igneous rock .

silver.2. Porphyry copper – chalcopyrite. Low temperature (epithermal) gold. page 381 The diagram shows some of the main categories of sulfide mineral associations in continental settings: A.See Table 19. typically with dolomite D. other copper sulfides and molybdenite. Galena and sphalerite in limestones.1. page 379 . galena and sphalerite C. cinnabar deposit) Fig. Low temperature (epithermal gold. 19. Hydrothermal vein with chalcopyrite. cinnabar vein E. near the top of a felsic igneous intrusion B.

When the minerals cool. the fluid contracts. . Minerals entrap fluid as they grow.Fluid inclusions record mineral and fluid temperature. forming a bubble of gas. By heating the mineral until the bubble disappears (until the fluid reaches its original volume) you can estimate the temperature of entrapment.

The silicates in igneous rocks (feldspar. page 380. . 19. hornblende and micas) are altered by reaction with hydrothermal solutions to form characteristic alteration minerals: Propylite (chlorite and epidote form) Argillite (clay minerals form) Sericite (mica forms from clays) Fig.2.

3. Primary (hypogene) sulfides react to form secondary (supergene) sulfides. carbonates. depending on the anions that are available in the groundwater. page 382 . red/orange colored iron oxides (gossan) are left behind and become a marker for sulfide mineral prospecting. At the surface.3.Sulfide minerals are unstable in the presence of oxygenated groundwater. page 382 for names of some minerals in the oxidized part of the supergene zone. See Table 19. and then supergene oxygen-bearing minerals such as oxides. and phosphates. Figure 19. sulfates.

The concept of this phase diagram is the same as that of a plot of pressure versus temperature. Minerals shown are: Chalcocite Native copper Covellite Cuprite Malachite Oxygen poor environments Which would you expect to form in alkaline.Oxygen rich environments The stability of supergene hydrothermal minerals is typically shown on a plot of Eh (a measure of the availability of oxygen) versus pH (concentration of hydrogen ions. or acidity). highly oxidized waters? .