UMass Sesquicentennial

Evidence for arsenic-mineralization in granitic basement rocks, Ayer Granodiorite, northeastern Massachusetts

TitleEvidence for arsenic-mineralization in granitic basement rocks, Ayer Granodiorite, northeastern Massachusetts
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsKoteas, CG, Keskula, AJ, Stein, CL, McTigue, DF, Kopera, JP, Brandon, WC
Conference NameAbstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America
Pagination160 - 160
Date Published2010/03/01/
PublisherGeological Society of America (GSA) : Boulder, CO, United States
Conference LocationUnited States
ISBN Number00167592
Keywords#StaffPubs, acadian, arsenic, arsenides, arsenopyrite, Ayer Granodiorite, Berwick formation, fractured materials, geochemistry, granodiorites, Igneous and metamorphic petrology 05A, igneous rocks, lower Paleozoic, massachusetts, Merrimack Synclinorium, metals, metamorphic rocks, metamorphism, metasedimentary rocks, metasomatism, Middlesex County Massachusetts, migration of elements, mineralization, Mineralogy of non-silicates 01C, northeastern Massachusetts, orogeny, Paleozoic, plutonic rocks, pollutants, pollution, pyrite, sulfides, United States

Core samples of the Ayer Granodiorite along the eastern margin of the Merrimack Belt in northeastern Massachusetts host a series of sulfide and oxide phases that resulted from interaction with sulfide-bearing meta-sedimentary host rocks. Euhedral arsenopyrite grains are found with ilmenite, apatite, and REE phosphates in zones that generally mimic the intersection between a gneissic fabric and a relict magmatic foliation. Arsenopyrite crystals are typically elongate with this lineation. Euhedral to subhedral pyrite crystals have also been observed, but are localized to areas without As-bearing phases. Micro-fractures that parallel either a steep NW-striking joint set or gently-dipping sheeting joints are commonly filled with interwoven calcite cements and As-bearing Fe-oxides. Surface coatings of major fracture sets are also characterized by Fe-As-rich rinds that host micron-scale sub-angular particles of quartz, feldspars, and phyllosilicates. Where micro-fractures are most concentrated, sulfide-bearing minerals are less common; however, subhedral to anhedral arsenopyrite grains do occur along some open micro-fractures. These crystals preserve lobate grain boundaries and are associated with As-bearing Fe-oxide-rich coatings along adjacent fractures. The presence of 1) pyrite, 2) arsenopyrite associated with phosphates, and 3) As-bearing fracture coatings suggests multiple stages of mineralization. We propose that intrusion-related fluid-rock interaction associated with heating of nearby sulfide-bearing schists of the Berwick Formation during Acadian orogenesis may have provided the necessary constituents for growth of sulfide phases in the Ayer. It appears that Late Devonian greenschist facies metamorphism and metasomatism led to mineralization that generated arsenopyrite and accompanying phosphates; however, the role of the cross-cutting Clinton Newbury Fault Zone as a conduit for hydrothermal fluids may also be important. Lower temperature As-bearing Fe-oxide and calcite coatings on open fractures surfaces may be associated with a change from lithostatic- to hydrostatic-pressures during post-glacial regional uplift. This mineralization appears to be synchronous with intense microfracturing that post-dates all other mineralization.

Short TitleAbstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America
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