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EPITHERMAL QUARTZ TEXTURE

WORKSHOP

1. Classification and interpretation of textures

2. Texture associations and the zoning model

3. Lodes and shoots-the facies model

4. Test drive using general & local examples


KLONDIKE
EPITHERMAL QUARTZ TEXTURES
CLASSIFICATION
PRIMARY TEXTURES
Those that grow in the
initial stages of crystallisation

RECRYSTALLISATION TEXTURES
Related to the transformation
of amorphous silica to quartz

REPLACEMENT TEXTURES
Partial or complete pseudomorphs
of other minerals by silica/quartz

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PRIMARY TEXTURES
CHALCEDONIC
massive
Those that grow first banded
in open space
SACCHAROIDAL

And with little or no CRYSTALLINE


Coarse
overprinting deformation,
Medium
recrystallisation, Fine
or replacement zoned crystals

BANDED
crustiform
colloform
cockade

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CHALCEDONY crypto-crystalline silica
Cant see grains/crystals in hand specimen

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JASPER-banded chalcedony with hematite

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SACCHAROIDAL-fine crystalline like sugar

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Fibrous crystals here as rosettes

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Crystals fine elongate & clear

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COMB fibre crystals in bands with chalcedony

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Zoned crystals - clear & milky zones due to inclusions

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Colloform – chalcedony bands with kidney-shaped surface

top

------

side

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CRUSTIFORM - bands change composition & texture
chalcedony (white) and comb bands (purple), also colloform

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COCKADE-crustiform bands around fragments

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RECRYSTALLISATION TEXTURES
Related to the transformation
of amorphous silica to quartz

Moss

Plumose

N.B. Saccharoidal quartz can be the end product of the


recrystallisation process

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MOSS-silica gel spheres partly recrystallised chalcedony

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MOSS- aggregates of mm scale spheres (looks like grapes)
silica gel partly recrystallised to chalcedony

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Plumose - fibrous recrystallisation in chalcedony

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ORIGIN OF RECRYSTALLISATION TEXTURES

Dong et al, 1995; Economic Geology


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REPLACEMENT TEXTURES
Partial or complete pseudomorphs of minerals
by silica/quartz

Mould

Bladed

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MOULD-cavity in the shape of dissolved mineral
fluorite here

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BLADED-barite crystals in irregular lattice pattern

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BLADED primary carbonate, irregular lattice pattern

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LATTICE BLADED
quartz replacing carbonate blades and filling solution cavities

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GHOST BLADED- original blades not directly pseudomorphed
red hematite defines blade shape not the quartz grains

Thin section crossed polars


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GHOST BLADED-hematite dust defines blade not quartz crystals

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MASSIVE crystalline carbonate-blades defined by cleavage only

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PARALLEL BLADED - groups of parallel blades define original crystal shape
replacement of rhombic crystals of carbonate along cleavage

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PARALLEL BLADED
groups of elongate quartz crystals follow cleavage of original

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ORIGIN OF REPLACEMENT TEXTURES

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ADULARIA - rhombic crystals as bands in veins
pink due to hematite inclusions

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ADULARIA - rhombic crystals in comb vein

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NEEDLE ADULARIA
in colloform bands

Weathers easily to
kaolinite

Kaolinite lost on sawing

Moulds filled with


grinding powder
highlights form

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WHAT THE TEXTURES IMPLY ABOUT CONDITIONS
Dominantly tensional, open space fill environment overall

CRYSTALLINE: liquid dominated fluid, moderate silica concentration


coarser crystals mean higher pressure and/or slower crystallisation

CHALCEDONIC: gas-dominated, silica-rich fluid, rapid crystallisation


bands mean fluctuating concentrations

CRUSTIFORM, COLLOFORM, COCKADE- multi-stage, open space fill,


fluctuating fluid composition (boiling)

RECRYSTALLISATION- change in T, P conditions &/or metastable primary phase

REPLACEMENT- change in fluid composition

AGGREGATE BRECCIA- tectonic deformation of relatively brittle rock


INFILL BRECCIA- hydrothermal pressure sufficient to break brittle host rock

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EPITHERMAL QUARTZ TEXTURES

ZONING MODEL
&
MINERALISATION TYPES

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Alteration, metals & texture zoning model

CHc
CHb

CHm

CCh

CCx

Xas

Xc
MASSIVE CARBONATE ZONE (CHc)
massive+/-moulds+/-parallel bladed

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LATTICE BLADED ZONE (CHb)
lattice bladed + chalcedony

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MASSIVE CHALCEDONIC ZONE (CHm)
Chalcedony + plumose

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CRUSTIFORM-COLLOFORM UPPER ZONE (CCh)
Banded massive & moss chalcedony-moss adularia- sulfide bands

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CRUSTIFORM-COLLOFORM LOWER ZONE (CCx)
Grey crystalline more than white chalcedonic bands +/- sulfide, carbonate

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CRYSTALLINE QUARTZ ZONE
fibrous crystalline quartz, cockade, crustiform

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CRYSTALLINE QUARTZ DEEP ZONE
massive medium comb quartz+/- crustiform, base metal sulfides

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Zoning model – fluid types

Gas
(H2O,CO2,S)
acid

Boiling
(gas + liquid,
fluctuates)

Liquid
(+ salts)
alkaline
Gold Mineralisation by Phase Separation / Boiling

Back Pressure plate from Kawerau.


Black metal precipitate contains
5%Au, 30%Ag and chalcopyrite

1. Gold mineralisation
2. Increase pH – Adularia
3. Crustiform - colloform
4. Acid sulphate cap Mechanism

5. Bladed Carbonate 2AuHS- +H+ 2H2S + Au0