The Nitrate Deposits of Chile

  • Guillermo Chong Diaz

Abstract

The geology of the unique nitrate deposits of Chile is described. The preliminary results of a current multidisciplinary research programme are included. Sedimentary, “in rocks”, and miscellaneous deposits have been defined and their geographical, geomorphological, geological and, metallogenic characteristics described. From the geological viewpoint, different lithostratigraphic and intrusive units have been recognized. Alternative theories of ore genesis are discussed and it is argued that original brines, enriched in nitrates and associated salts, are of magmatic origin. These brines were emplaced by means of geothermal mechanisms, either through isolated geothermal fields or through regional fault systems, and the spatial relationship with the emplacement of precious and basic metal ores is considered. Finally, the post-emplacement geological evolution of the deposits is discussed.

Keywords

Chromate Zeolite Iodine Cretaceous Leaching 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillermo Chong Diaz
    • 1
  1. 1.Depto. de Sciencias GeologicasUniversidad Católica del NorteAntofagastaChile

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