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Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 211–230 | Cite as

Mississippi Valley-type fluorite-barite-sphalerite mineralization in the Sweetwater district, Tennessee

  • K. C. Misra
  • O. C. Kopp
  • T. A. Paris
  • M. A. Linkous
Article

Abstract

Recent exploration has established that the Sweetwater district, well known for its residual barite, contains significant Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) fluorite-barite-sphalerite mineralization at depth. These minerals are hosted in the upper Knox Group (Lower Ordovician) carbonate sequence, which is composed of limestone, medium- to coarse-grained dolomitized limestone, and fine-grained dolostone. The potential orebodies of the district appear to be of two forms: “breakthrough” ore that cuts across the stratigraphic units, and “bedded” ore that represents lateral extensions of mineralization along individual limestone units. The mineralization is dominantly of the cavity-filling type and is associated mainly with coarse rock-matrix breccias. Correlation of marker horizons in cross-sections constructed from underground borehole data suggests that the distribution of coarse rock-matrix breccias was controlled by foundering of overlying blocks due to partial dissolution of underlying limestone units by hydrothermal fluids. The zones of coarse rock-matrix breccia were permeable enough for the passage of later ore-forming fluids and consequent mineralization. The mineralization appears to have been essentially completed before the deposition of the Middle Ordovician sediments, which unconformably overlie the Knox Group and contain only occasional occurrences of fracture-filling sphalerite.

Keywords

Dolomite Breccia Ordovician Barite Galena 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. C. Misra
    • 1
  • O. C. Kopp
    • 1
  • T. A. Paris
    • 2
  • M. A. Linkous
    • 3
  1. 1.University of TennesseeKnoxville
  2. 2.Knoxville
  3. 3.U.S. BoraxLos Angeles

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