Geology of Ore Deposits

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 1–20 | Cite as

Problems in estimation of the formation depth of hydrothermal deposits by data on pressure of mineralizing fluids



In this paper, the formation depth of hydrothermal deposits is proposed to be roughly estimated by data on pressure variations in fluid inclusions from maximum P max to minimum P min values, taking into account the restrictions to the physical limits of this range based on lithostatic and hydrostatic fluid pressure. Under the assumption of a regressive trend in the PT conditions throughout the geological history of the deposits, it is possible to estimate the minimum depth at the beginning of the mineralization process, using a P max value and lithostatic fluid pressure gradient (∼260 bar/km), and the maximum depth at the completion of mineralization process, using a P min value and hydrostatic gradient (∼100 bar/km). If the mineral deposition depth estimated from the values of P max and lithostatic fluid pressure gradient is consistent with the depth estimate from the values of P min and hydrostatic fluid pressure gradient, then the resulting depth estimates correspond to the deposit formation depth unchanged throughout the mineral deposition process. In case of the ratio P max/P min > 2.6–3.0, the deposit is mineralized under variable depth coordinates with an upward movement of mineral deposition level, according to obtained estimates, over a depth range of up to >15 km. In case of the ratio P max/P min < 2.6, the data on fluid pressure variations does not allow making any definite conclusions on the trends in the deposit formation depth. In deposits with an upward movement of the mineral deposition level, the trends in depth variations based on fluid pressure data are in qualitative agreement with the data on minimum temperature T min recorded in deposit fluid inclusions under the assumption of its physical restriction to geothermal field values.


Fluid Inclusion Gold Deposit Fluid Pressure Lithostatic Pressure Hydrothermal Deposit 
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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy and GeochemistryRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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