Element distribution in the root zone of ultramafic-hosted black smoker-like systems: Constraints from an Alpine analog

Type Article
Date 2021-01
Language English
Author(s) Coltat R.1, Boulvais P.1, Riegler T.2, Pelleter EwanORCID3, Branquet Y.1, 4
Affiliation(s) 1 : Géosciences Rennes, CNRS UMR 6118, Université Rennes, F-35000 Rennes, France
2 : Department of Geology, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
3 : IFREMER Centre de Brest, DRO/GM, Plouzané, France
4 : ISTO, UMR7327, Université d'Orléans, CNRS, BRGM, 4507ISTO1 Orléans, France
Source Chemical Geology (0009-2541) (Elsevier BV), 2021-01 , Vol. 559 , P. 119916 (22p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2020.119916
WOS© Times Cited 7
Keyword(s) Ultramafic-hosted black smokers, Root zones, Element distribution, Mid-oceanic ridges, Extensional detachment, Alps

Fluid-rock interactions at Mid-Oceanic Ridges lead to metal deposition in the so-called seafloor massive sulfides at ultramafic-hosted systems. Due to restricted access to the seafloor and scarcity of 3D exposures, these systems are poorly understood at-depth. A way to access the vertical dimension is to focus on fossil analogs preserved on-land such as the one preserved in serpentinites from the Platta nappe (SE Switzerland). For this example, we document the element distribution in the mineralized rocks at three distinct levels in the rock column using both whole rock chemical analyses and LA-ICPMS analysis of sulfide (chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite) and magnetite. We bring, for the first time, chemical signatures of the mineralization in the root zone of ultramafic-hosted black smokers. At any given depth, the Co/Ni ratio is maximum in the most mineralized samples indicating that this ratio is linked to the intensity of hydrothermal alteration. Additionally, the Co/Ni ratio decreases in mineralized rocks towards the paleosurface, whereas the Se content increases. An episode of carbonation recorded in the highest structural level of the system was responsible for a slight remobilization of the former Cu stock. We propose a model in which the uprising mineralizing fluid mixed with seawater within the host serpentinites, before venting at the paleoseafloor.

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