2.9 to 1.9 Ga paleoalterations ofArchean granitic basement of the Franceville basin (Gabon) - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of African Earth Sciences Year : 2014

2.9 to 1.9 Ga paleoalterations ofArchean granitic basement of the Franceville basin (Gabon)


The Archean granitoids in the Kiéné area, Gabon, are overlained by the Paleoproterozoic sediments of the Franceville basin (2.1 Ga). The basin is known for its high-grade uranium deposits among which some have been forming natural nuclear fission reactors. Most of the studies were dedicated to the FA-FB Paleoproterozoic sediments hosting these uranium deposits. Little is known on the Archean basement itself and specifically on the hydrous alteration events it experienced before and after the sediment deposition. The present work is focused on their petrographical, mineralogical and geochemical characterization. Dating the successive alteration events has been attempted on altered monazite crystals. Rocks in different alteration states have been sampled from eight drill cores crosscutting the Archean - Paleoproterozoic unconformity. The Archean granitoids observed in the deepest levels exhibit typical petrographical features of a propylitic alteration while they are intensely illitized up to the unconformity. The propylitic alteration is mainly pervasive but the original texture of the granitoïds is conserved in spite of the formation of new minerals: Mg-chlorite, allanite and epidote forming a typical paragenesis. The illitic alteration is much more invasive near the unconformity. The illitization process leads to the replacement of feldspars and the corrosion of quartz crysals by an illitic matrix while the ferromagnesian minerals are pseudomorphosed by a Fe-chlorite + phengite + hematite assemblage. The final fluid-rock interaction step is marked by fissural deposits of calcite and anhydrite. The δ13C isotopic data show that the fissural carbonates precipitated from diagenetic fluids enriched carbon products deriving from the maturation of organic matter. The U-Pb isotopic analyzes performed on monazite crystals have dated three distinct events: 3.0-2.9 Ga (magmatic), 2.6 Ga (propylitic alteration) and 1.9 Ga (diagenetic illitization). The calculation of geochemical mass balances suggests that the water-rock ratio during the propylitic alteration event was weak. On the contrary, it was much higher during the overprinted illitization which is characterized by an intense leaching of Na, Ca, Mg, Sr, REE and an enrichment in K, Rb,Cs. Neither the petrographic features nor the geochemical data militate for an Archean weathering event (paleosol). In the present case, diagenetic fluids have percolated from the unconformity into the basement where they overprinted the illitization processes upon the previously propylitized rocks. These fluids were probably oxidant as they are also responsible of the U mobilization which led to the formation of the ore deposits close to the FA-FB interface.


Earth Sciences
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insu-01010619 , version 1 (20-06-2014)



Idalina Moubiya Mouélé, Patrick Dudoignon, Abderrazak El Albani, Alain Meunier, Philippe Boulvais, et al.. 2.9 to 1.9 Ga paleoalterations ofArchean granitic basement of the Franceville basin (Gabon). Journal of African Earth Sciences, 2014, 97, pp.244-260. ⟨10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2014.04.027⟩. ⟨insu-01010619⟩
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