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U–Pb Geochronology of Hydrothermal Monazite from Uraniferous Greisen Veins Associated with the High Heat Production Mount Douglas Granite, New Brunswick, Canada

Department of Earth Sciences, University of New Brunswick, 2 Bailey Drive, Fredericton, NB E3B5A3, Canada
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Geosciences 2019, 9(5), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9050224
Received: 9 January 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
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Abstract

A combination of in situ laser ablation inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (LA ICP–MS) analyses guided by Scanning Electron Microscope–Back-Scattered Electron imaging (SEM–BSE) was applied to hydrothermal monazite from greisen veins of the Late Devonian, highly evolved, uraniferous Mount Douglas Granite, New Brunswick, Canada. Understanding the uraniferous nature of the suite and characterizing the hydrothermal system that produced the associated mineralized greisen veins were the main goals of this study. The uraniferous nature of the Mount Douglas Granite is evident from previous airborne radiometric surveys, whole-rock geochemical data indicating high U and Th (2–22 ppm U; 19–71 ppm Th), the presence of monazite, zircon, xenotime, thorite, bastnaesite, and uraninite within the pluton and the associated hydrothermal greisen veins, as well as anomalous levels of U and Th in wolframite, hematite, and martite within greisen veins. New U–Pb geochronology of hydrothermal monazite coexisting with sulfide and oxide minerals yielded mineralization ages ranging from 344 to 368 Ma, with most of them (90%) younger than the crystallization age of the pluton (368 ± 3 Ma). The younger mineralization age indicates post-magmatic hydrothermal activities within the Mount Douglas system that was responsible for the mineralization. The production of uraniferous greisen veins by this process is probably associated with the High Heat Production (HHP) nature of this pluton, resulting from the radioactive decay of U, Th, and K. This heat prolongs post-crystallization hydrothermal fluid circulation and promotes the generation of hydrothermal ore deposits that are younger than the pluton. Assuming a density of 2.61 g/cm3, the average weighted mean radiogenic heat production of the Mount Douglas granites is 5.9 µW/m3 (14.1 HGU; Heat Generation Unit), in which it ranges from 2.2 µW/m3 in the least evolved unit, Dmd1, up to 10.1 µW/m3 in the most fractionated unit, Dmd3. They are all significantly higher than the average upper continental crust (1.65 µW/m3). The high radiogenic heat production of the Mount Douglas Granite, accompanied by a high estimated heat flow of 70 mW/m2, supports the assignment of the granite to a ‘hot crust’ (>7 HGU) HHP granite and highlights its potential for geothermal energy exploration. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrothermal monazite; High Heat Production Granite; geothermal energy; U–Pb geochronology; Mount Douglas Granite; New Brunswick hydrothermal monazite; High Heat Production Granite; geothermal energy; U–Pb geochronology; Mount Douglas Granite; New Brunswick
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Mohammadi, N.; McFarlane, C.R.M.; Lentz, D.R. U–Pb Geochronology of Hydrothermal Monazite from Uraniferous Greisen Veins Associated with the High Heat Production Mount Douglas Granite, New Brunswick, Canada. Geosciences 2019, 9, 224.

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