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Open AccessArticle

Integrated 3D Geological Modeling to Gain Insight in the Effects of Hydrothermal Alteration on Post-Ore Deformation Style and Strain Localization in the Flin Flon Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Ore System

1
Geological Survey of Canada, 601 Booth Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0E8, Canada
2
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2l 3G1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2018, 8(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8010003
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 25 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geological Modelling)
3D geological modeling of lithogeochemical and geological data provides insight into the role of the sulfide ore horizon and associated footwall hydrothermal alteration in localizing shear strain in the Flin Flon volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits, Canada, as deformation evolved from brittle-ductile to ductile regimes during collisional stages of the 1.9–1.8 Ga Trans-Hudson orogeny. 3D spatial characterization of hydrothermal alteration based on the Ishikawa index (AI) and normative corundum percentages outline sericite + chlorite-rich high strain zones, consisting of Al-enriched and Na-depleted felsic and mafic volcanic rocks in the footwall of the sulfide ore horizon. The hydrothermal vent complex, from which these sheared alteration zones originated, was stacked together with the ore horizon by W-vergent thrust faults during an early collisional deformation regime, imbricating molasse-type clastic sediments with the ore-hosting volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks of the Flin Flon arc assemblage. Chlorite-rich planar zones marked by high values of the Carbonate–chlorite–pyrite index (CCPI) are laterally more extensive and outline a later system of ductile shear zones, in which phyllosilicates, quartz and chalcopyrite in stringer zones localized shear strain and enhanced transposition of the hydrothermal vent stockwork. The contrasting deformation styles of these two thrusting events and their localization within the ore horizon and hydrothermal vent stockwork have important implications for vectoring towards undiscovered ore in this mature mining camp that are possibly also relevant to other strongly deformed VMS ore systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D geological modeling; volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits; hydrothermal alteration; strain localization; alteration indices; mineral exploration 3D geological modeling; volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits; hydrothermal alteration; strain localization; alteration indices; mineral exploration
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Schetselaar, E.; Ames, D.; Grunsky, E. Integrated 3D Geological Modeling to Gain Insight in the Effects of Hydrothermal Alteration on Post-Ore Deformation Style and Strain Localization in the Flin Flon Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide Ore System. Minerals 2018, 8, 3.

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