Carboniferous basin evolution of central Ireland - simulation of structural controls on mineralization

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    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Much is known about the Carboniferous-hosted, hydrothermal, zinc-lead deposits of central Ireland, including temperatures, geochemistries and fluid properties at the mineralised sites. However, this knowledge is insufficient to force a unique genetic interpretation of the palaeo-hydrogeological system responsible for mineralisation. Two hypothetical flow systems survive previous mass-balance testing: a deep, topographically-driven, regional flow, and deep, convective-flow systems local to each deposit. In order to develop models of these flow systems, we have created a 4-D, Early Carboniferous restoration of basin development in central Ireland. The structural style is one of tilted fault blocks of the pre-Carboniferous “basement”; the Carboniferous sedimentary rocks are deposited in the accommodation space created by movement of the basement. Fluid- and heat-flow simulations based on the geological restorations show that most of the rising, hot flows are focused on faults. The 4-D restorations suggest that such faults are at active, syn-depositional, fault-block corners. Buoyancy-driven convective flow systems, operating within both the fractured basement and its sedimentary cover, are a viable mineralisation system that agrees with the geological interpretation. Topographically-driven flow systems developed from the geological interpretation do not reproduce the important characteristics of hydrothermal flow as deduced from evidence at the deposit sites.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIn: McCaffrey, K., et al., eds., Fractures, fluid flow and mineralization. London: Geological Society
    Pages277-302
    Number of pages26
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 1999

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