Next Article in Journal
Petrographic and Petrophysical Characterization of Detrital Reservoir Rocks for CO2 Geological Storage (Utrillas and Escucha Sandstones, Northern Spain)
Next Article in Special Issue
Ti-Nb Mineralization of Late Carbonatites and Role of Fluids in Its Formation: Petyayan-Vara Rare-Earth Carbonatites (Vuoriyarvi Massif, Russia)
Previous Article in Journal
Landscape Classification with Deep Neural Networks
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Geosciences 2018, 8(7), 245;

Quantifying Hydrothermal Alteration: A Review of Methods

Centre D’études sur les Ressources Minérales (CERM), Département des Sciences Appliquées, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC), 555 boul. De L’université, Chicoutimi, QC G7H 2B1, Canada
Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics and Kinetics of Melt-Fluid-Rock Interactions)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1809 KB, uploaded 3 July 2018]   |  


Hydrothermal alteration is proximal to many base and precious metal deposits, and its products can provide insights into the characteristics of hydrothermal systems. To be useful to exploration geologists and researchers, however, alteration needs to be typified and quantified. Alteration type informs on mineralising style (e.g., have we found a porphyry or a volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit?), while quantification of its intensity helps position a sample within the system (e.g., how close are we to the main economic deposit?). Numerous methods—all having their specific advantages and disadvantages—are dedicated to the characterisation of alteration. As alteration is a process that induces chemical and mineralogical changes in rocks, it can be studied using petrological (e.g., mineral recognition in thin sections, mineral chemistry), mineralogical (e.g., alteration indices that use normative minerals), and chemical (e.g., mass balance calculations) approaches. This short review provides an overview of the methods useful to researchers and that are also applicable in an exploration context. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrothermal alteration; mass balance; alteration indices; normative calculation; porphyry hydrothermal alteration; mass balance; alteration indices; normative calculation; porphyry

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Mathieu, L. Quantifying Hydrothermal Alteration: A Review of Methods. Geosciences 2018, 8, 245.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Geosciences EISSN 2076-3263 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top