The Bisciarelle fault is a brittle thrust crosscutting lherzolite of the Voltri Massif (Italy) and is similar to the historical gold veins of the area. This is a 16-m-thick fault showing a large damage zone and a 4-m-wide hydrothermal alteration halo. Its fault rocks interacted with a hydrothermal fluid and host peculiar Au-bearing zones made of concentric and circular dolomite aggregates, which we call spherulites, and chalcedony. To constrain spherulite genesis, we quantify fluid-fault interactions at Bisciarelle combining field and microtextural data, mass transfer calculations, and a multi-technique analytical dataset including element imaging by laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-time-of-flight mass spectrometry. We show that faulting was coupled with significant transfer of H2O, CO2, Ca, Sb, and W from the fault fluid to the protolith, and variable transfers of SiO2 and some trace elements from the protolith to the fluid. This process deposited Au within the spherulites, caused serpentinization and carbonation of the protolith, and weakened the fault localizing subsequent shearing events and providing components for the growth of spherulites and the other fault rocks. We interpret Bisciarelle as a permeable epizonal orogenic vein, which formed fast as a result of dilation and top-to-NE shearing. This fault developed via cycles of fluid pressure build-up, opening, fluid effervescence, and mineral precipitation from a H2O-CO2 hydrothermal fluid. The fluid transported and deposited a suite of metals including Au and interacted with the protolith. A similar mechanism of faulting and reactive fluid flow could have generated the other Au deposits of the area.

Garofalo, P.S., Scarsi, M., Gundlach-Graham, A., Schwarz, G., Günther, D. (2022). Feedbacks between fast brittle faulting, hydrothermal fluid flow, and metal transport within carbonated ultramafics (Ligurian Western Alps, Italy). MINERALIUM DEPOSITA, 58(5), 833-852 [10.1007/s00126-022-01142-y].

Feedbacks between fast brittle faulting, hydrothermal fluid flow, and metal transport within carbonated ultramafics (Ligurian Western Alps, Italy)

Garofalo, Paolo S.
;
2022

Abstract

The Bisciarelle fault is a brittle thrust crosscutting lherzolite of the Voltri Massif (Italy) and is similar to the historical gold veins of the area. This is a 16-m-thick fault showing a large damage zone and a 4-m-wide hydrothermal alteration halo. Its fault rocks interacted with a hydrothermal fluid and host peculiar Au-bearing zones made of concentric and circular dolomite aggregates, which we call spherulites, and chalcedony. To constrain spherulite genesis, we quantify fluid-fault interactions at Bisciarelle combining field and microtextural data, mass transfer calculations, and a multi-technique analytical dataset including element imaging by laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-time-of-flight mass spectrometry. We show that faulting was coupled with significant transfer of H2O, CO2, Ca, Sb, and W from the fault fluid to the protolith, and variable transfers of SiO2 and some trace elements from the protolith to the fluid. This process deposited Au within the spherulites, caused serpentinization and carbonation of the protolith, and weakened the fault localizing subsequent shearing events and providing components for the growth of spherulites and the other fault rocks. We interpret Bisciarelle as a permeable epizonal orogenic vein, which formed fast as a result of dilation and top-to-NE shearing. This fault developed via cycles of fluid pressure build-up, opening, fluid effervescence, and mineral precipitation from a H2O-CO2 hydrothermal fluid. The fluid transported and deposited a suite of metals including Au and interacted with the protolith. A similar mechanism of faulting and reactive fluid flow could have generated the other Au deposits of the area.
2022
Garofalo, P.S., Scarsi, M., Gundlach-Graham, A., Schwarz, G., Günther, D. (2022). Feedbacks between fast brittle faulting, hydrothermal fluid flow, and metal transport within carbonated ultramafics (Ligurian Western Alps, Italy). MINERALIUM DEPOSITA, 58(5), 833-852 [10.1007/s00126-022-01142-y].
Garofalo, Paolo S.; Scarsi, Marco; Gundlach-Graham, Alexander; Schwarz, Gunnar; Günther, Detlef
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/907508
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