Spatial organization of gold and alteration mineralogy in hydrothermal systems: wavelet analysis of drillcore from Sunrise Dam Gold Mine, Western Australia

Mark Munro, Alison Ord, Bruce Hobbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The spatial distributions of mineralization and alteration in hydrothermal systems are complex and are often considered to be cryptic and problematic to quantify. We used wavelet analysis of conventional hyperspectral drillcore logs to demonstrate quantitatively that primary Au mineralization, common vein-hosted mineralogy (calcite and ankerite), host rock alteration mineralogy (sericite and chlorite) and regional-scale metamorphic assemblages (amphibole) organize spatially as multifractals. This documentation of multifractal spatial organization in Au and alteration mineralogy is sufficient to show that they are the result of underlying deterministic dynamic processes as opposed to random stochastic processes. The application of wavelets to three ore bodies (GQ, Vogue and Cosmo East) from the highly endowed Archaean Sunrise Dam hydrothermal Au system of Western Australia shows that the spatial organizations of Au and ankerite are more closely associated in GQ than in Vogue. The spatial organization of Au in Vogue is more strongly associated with calcite. Primary Au mineralization and infill carbonate mineralogy are more complexly organized
than sericitic and chloritic host rock alteration. Although demonstrated here for a hydrothermal system, wavelet analysis is readily applicable to downhole or outcrop data from any deposit type.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-204
Number of pages40
JournalGeological Society Special Publication
Volume453
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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