Hydrothermal alteration is a very complex process involving mineralogical, chemical and textural changes, resulting from the interaction of hot aqueous fluids with the rocks through which they pass, under evolving physico-chemical conditions. Alteration can take place under magmatic subsolidus conditions by the action and infiltration of supercritical fluids into a rock mass. At lower temperature and pressure, exsolution of gas and aqueous phases constitute hydrothermal solutions which act on the surrounding rocks, producing changes as the result of disequilibrium, largely due to H+ and OH- and other volatile constituents (e.g. B, CO2, F).


Mineral Assemblage Wall Rock Hydrothermal Alteration Massive Sulphide Deposit Rare Earth Element Pattern 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franco Pirajno
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology Mineral ExplorationRhodes UniversityGrahmstownSouth Africa

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