Hydrothermal quartz vein formation, revealed by coupled SEM-CL imaging and fluid inclusion microthermometry: Shuteen Complex, South Gobi, Mongolia

Bayaraa Batkhishig, Greg Bignall, Noriyoshi Tsuchiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Scanning electron microscopy-cathodoluminescence (SEM-CL) imaging of vein quartz in the Cu-mineralised, Shuteen Complex (South Gobi, Mongolia) has revealed a complex history of crystal growth, dissolution and microfracture healing, associated with several hydrothermal events that could not be detected using other observational techniques (e.g. transmitted/reflected light microscopy, back-scattered electron imaging, or secondary electron imaging). The quartz initially grew as CL-bright/grey crystals in a 345±30°C liquid reservoir, as inferred by the analysis of primary liquid fluid inclusions (average Th of 343°C; 6.6-7.7 wt% NaCleq. Quartz precipitation occurred at the edge of the crystals as reservoir fluids cooled to 260±25°C, as indicated by micron-scale CL-dark/CL-bfight quartz growth bands containing abundant fluid inclusions (with an average Th values of 261°C). Pressure fluctuations were the likely cause of dissolution, as SEM-CL imaging reveals the quartz have corroded or rounded crystal edges, and precipitation of later quartz into open space. SEM-CL imaging shows the quartz contains healed microfractures that trapped low salinity fluids (3.9 wt% NaCleq) with Th values of 173±15°C. SEM-CL imaging provides a means of deciphering the thermal and chemical evolution of the fossil Shuteen hydrothermal system, and the nature of hydrothermal quartz vein-forming processes, by facilitating the correlation of distinct fluid inclusion populations and their relative chronology, with specific hydrothermal events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalResource Geology
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Mar 1

Keywords

  • Cathodoluminescence
  • Fluid inclusions
  • Fossil hydrothermal system
  • Hydrothermal quartz vein
  • Mongolia
  • SEM-CL imaging
  • Shuteen Complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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