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Fluid migration at the basement/sediment interface along the margin of the South-East Basin (France) :implications for Pb-Zn ore formation

Abstract : This study investigates the isotopic composition (C, O, S and Sr) of carbonates, sulphates and sulphide cements in the rock matrix and fracture fillings in geological formations of the Southeast basin of France, using core samples collected during the Deep Geology of France programme (GPF ArdSche theme). The Southeast basin belongs to the Alpine Tethyan margin. It is one of the thickest sedimentary basins in Europe, reaching upwards of 9 km in certain locations. The main fluid transfer from the basin is related to the large Pb-Zn Mississippi Valley-type district along the southern margin of the Massif Central block. A synthesis of the tectonic, mineralogical and petrographic investigations on the GPF boreholes shows that a major fluid circulation event occurred across the Alpine margin of Tethys during the Early Jurassic (Hettangian-Bathonian). It produced a general cementation of the rock porosity through precipitation of dolomite, sulphate and barite. Fracture fillings yield isotopic signatures distinct from the matrix cements. Matrix cements have particular characteristics, i.e. delta(34)S and delta(13)C that agree with a marine origin. The delta(34)S values of Permo-Carboniferous to Triassic sulphides from fracture cements are interpreted as resulting from the thermo-chemical reduction of sulphates. Fracture sulphates in the same geological formations yield delta(34)S values that define a relatively homogeneous end-member, whose composition is similar to sulphates in the LargentiSre Pb-Zn ore deposit. The source of S is attributed to the Permo-Carboniferous succession. The borehole fracture fillings are attributed to a major fluid circulation stage compatible with the Early Jurassic stage identified from the geological investigation of the boreholes. The formation of the LargentiSre deposit is considered as resulting from the mixing of this Early Jurassic fluid with continental hydrothermal fluids circulating in a basement horst, along its margin with the sedimentary basin. Other Pb-Zn deposits may also be related to fluid migration along the basement/sedimentary cover interface in the eastern and western parts of the Massif Central. This regional fluid circulation event may represent a geodynamic marker of the Jurassic extensional phase.
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Luc Aquilina, Philippe Boulvais, Jean-Rémi Mossmann. Fluid migration at the basement/sediment interface along the margin of the South-East Basin (France) :implications for Pb-Zn ore formation. Mineralium Deposita, Spinger, 2011, 46 (8), pp.959-979. ⟨10.1007/s00126-011-0360-9⟩. ⟨insu-00655734⟩

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