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TitleMetal transport by liquid hydrocarbons: evidence from metalliferous shale and pyrobitumen, Yukon
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AuthorHenderson, K M; Williams-Jones, A E; Clark, J R
SourceTargeted Geoscience Initiative: 2018 report of activities; by Rogers, N (ed.); Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8549, 2019 p. 179-187, (Open Access)
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Rogers, N; (2019). Targeted Geoscience Initiative: 2018 report of activities, Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8549
File formatpdf
NTS106E/09; 106E/10; 106E/11; 106E/12; 106E/13; 106E/14; 106E/15; 106E/16; 106F/11; 106F/12; 106F/13; 106F/14; 106K/03; 106K/04; 106K/05; 106K/06; 106K/11; 106K/12; 106K/13; 106K/14; 106L; 116H/09; 116H/10; 116H/11; 116H/12; 116H/13; 116H/14; 116H/15; 116H/16; 116I
AreaRichardson Mountains; Peel River; Eagle Plains
Lat/Long WENS-138.0000 -133.0000 67.0000 65.5000
Subjectseconomic geology; geochemistry; mineralogy; fossil fuels; mineral deposits; metals; nickel; molybdenum; zinc; sulphides; sedimentary ore deposits; strata-bound deposits; mineral exploration; mineral potential; ore mineral genesis; mineralization; ore controls; transport mechanisms; fluid migration; hydrocarbons; pyrobitumen; veins; diagenesis; hydrocarbon generation; paragenesis; whole rock analyses; geochemical analyses; bulk composition; nickel geochemistry; vanadium geochemistry; zinc geochemistry; molybdenum geochemistry; organic materials; spectrometric analyses; mineralogical analyses; scanning electron microscope analyses; sedimentary basins; bedrock geology; lithology; sedimentary rocks; black shales; Richardson Trough; Moss showing; Yukon Stable Block; Canol Formation; Road River Group; ore systems approach; hyper-enriched black shale (HEBS); platinum group elements; rare earth elements; metal mobility; Phanerozoic; Paleozoic; Devonian
Illustrationsgeoscientific sketch maps; geochemical plots; photomicrographs
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-5), Knowledge Management Coordination
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-5), Volcanogenic massive sulphide ore systems - deposition - time and space
Released2019 03 01
AbstractHyper-enriched black shale (HEBS) occurs within Yukon Devonian stratigraphy as a thin (approximately 3 cm thick) laterally extensive (100-1000s km2) sulphide-rich unit. These shale beds contain an average of 4 weight % Ni, 0.5 weight % Zn, and 0.3 weight % Mo, as well as anomalous concentrations of Cu, Ag, Se, As, P, Ba, U, platinum group and rare earth elements. The origin of these HEBS deposits is strongly debated; possible mechanisms include metals being derived from seawater in a sediment-starved, stratified euxinic basin or by addition from hydrothermal fluids. However, a process that has not been considered is mobilization of metals by hydrocarbon liquids. These liquids are produced during diagenesis, and are capable of transporting nickel, vanadium and zinc.
Pyrobitumen occurs as centimetre-scale veins within the hyper-enriched black shale (HEBS) layer, but also much thicker metre-wide veins in the surrounding shale packages. Bulk analysis shows that these veins have high metal concentrations; most notably nickel and vanadium. Pyrobitumen within the HEBS horizon has average Ni and V concentrations of 1300 ppm and 1400 ppm, respectively. A vein above the HEBS horizon has 2000 ppm Ni and 3700 ppm V, as well as 8000 ppm Zn and 220 ppm Mo. Nickel-vanadium sulphur phases are present within the organic material as small (2-10 micrometres long) laths. The presence of nickel- and vanadium-bearing phases within pyrobitumen veins is consistent with the notion of metal-transportation by liquid hydrocarbons.