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TitleControls on the distribution of thermal springs in the southern Canadian Cordillera
AuthorGrasby, S; Hutcheon, I
SourceCanadian Journal of Earth Sciences 38, 3, 2001 p. 427-440, (Open Access)
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 2000070
PublisherCanadian Science Publishing
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS82E; 82F; 82G; 82J; 82K; 82L; 92B; 92C; 92F/01; 92F/02; 92F/07; 92F/08; 92G; 92H; 92I; 92J
Areasouthern British Colombia
Lat/Long WENS-125.0000 -114.0000 51.0000 49.0000
Subjectsstructural geology; hydrogeology; thermal springs; Eocene; faults; fault systems; structural features; sulphur; sulphide deposits; water circulation patterns; West Coast Fault; Harrison Lake Fault; Garibaldi Volcanic Belt; Okanagan Valley Fault; Columbia River Fault; Purcell Trench Fault; Rocky Mountain Trench Fault Zone
Illustrationssketch maps; tables; graphs
AbstractThermal springs examined in southern British Columbia are restricted to six major Eocene or later brittle fault systems. These faults provide a high-permeability flow path that allows for deep circulation of meteoric water. The depth of circulation, and thus temperature, is largely influenced by fault plane geometry. Calculated circulation depths of up to 4.8 km are consistent with models for hydrothermal ore deposits that invoke the mixing of mineralizing fluids with sulphur-rich meteoric water at depth. Mass-flux calculations indicate that a relatively small spring (5 L/s) can transport large amounts of bacterially reduced sulphur to ore-forming depths over a short geological time scale and can easily account for the sulphur associated with PbZn deposits in the southern Canadian Cordillera. Modern thermal springs may be good analogies for the upper-crustal flow systems in hydrothermal ore deposit models.