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TitreFluid P-T-X characteristics and evidence for boiling in the formation of the Phoenix uranium deposit (Athabasca Basin, Canada): Implications for unconformity-related uranium mineralization mechanisms
AuteurWang, K; Chi, G; Bethune, K M; Li, Z; Blamey, N; Card, C; Potter, E G; Liu, Y
SourceOre Geology Reviews vol. 101, 2018 p. 122-142, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oregeorev.2018.07.010
Année2018
ÉditeurElsevier B.V.
Documentpublication en série
Lang.anglais
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.oregeorev.2018.07.010
Mediapapier; en ligne; numérique
ProgrammeVoies de fluide, Initiative géoscientifique ciblée (IGC-5)
Résumé(disponible en anglais seulement)
The Phoenix uranium deposit in the southeastern Athabasca Basin (Canada) is a typical unconformity contact-hosted uranium deposit, characterized by an association with reactivated basement faults, graphite-rich rocks in the underlying basement, and a pervasive clay alteration halo surrounding the mineralized zones. Petrographic results suggest that the mineralizing hydrothermal system was characterized by alternating desilicification and silicification events. Uraninite and clay-size minerals (tourmaline, kaolinite, illite and minor chlorite) mainly precipitated in the desilicification periods whereas hydrothermal quartz (mainly drusy quartz) formed during the silicification periods. Primary fluid inclusions in the hydrothermal quartz are inferred to represent the ore-forming fluids even though quartz did not co-precipitate with uraninite. The coexistence of multiple types of fluid inclusions (liquid-dominated biphase, vapor-dominated biphase, vapor-only and halite-bearing triphase) within individual fluid inclusion assemblages is interpreted to indicate fluid boiling and heterogeneous trapping. Bulk fluid inclusion volatile analysis by mass spectrometry indicates H2O as the dominant species, with less than 1 mol% non-aqueous volatiles that show a compositional trend typical of fluid boiling. Microthermometric and cryogenic Raman spectroscopic analyses indicate that the mineralizing fluids are of H2O-NaCl-CaCl2 ± MgCl2 composition, with salinities ranging mainly from 23.4 to 31.1 wt%. The liquid-dominated biphase inclusions (excluding those interpreted to have resulted from heterogeneous trapping) have homogenization temperatures from 90 to 157 ¡C. These data are generally consistent with the classical diagenetic-hydrothermal model in which basinal brines that extracted uranium from the basin or the basement were channeled along reactivated basement faults, and precipitated uraninite near the unconformity through reaction with reducing agents. However, the relatively low fluid inclusion homogenization temperatures documented in this paper, together with fluid boiling inferred from fluid inclusion assemblages, suggest that the deposit may have formed in a shallower environment (?2.5 km) than assumed in the conventional diagenetic-hydrothermal model (>5 km). Abrupt fluid pressure drops during episodic faulting may have resulted in fluid boiling (flash vaporization) changing the fluid pH and promoting uraninite precipitation, with the alternating liquid-vapor conjugates of the boiling system resulting in alternating precipitation of quartz and uraninite respectively. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
GEOSCAN ID310763