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Rogers R.,INRS - Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique | Ross P.-S.,INRS - Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique | Goutier J.,Ministere des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune Quebec | Mercier-Langevin P.,Geological Survey of Canada
Economic Geology | Year: 2014

An innovative approach to enhance volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) exploration in regions outside of mining camps is to first use physical volcanology with litho- and chemostratigraphy to establish the location of effusive centers in the volcanic units and use pyrite geochemistry in sulfide-bearing stratified intervals with whole-rock geochemistry in the underlying volcanic units to identify hydrothermal upflow zones. This methodology is illustrated by this study in the Archean Blake River Group within the Abitibi greenstone belt of Quebec and Ontario. The Blake River Group contains numerous VMS deposits, yet large segments remain underexplored, including the Hébécourt Formation which contains four tholeiitic units that range from basalt to rhyolite in composition. Effusive centers are located for three felsic units and subunits: (1) low Ti (porphyritic) subunit of the main rhyolite, (2) high Ti (aphyric) subunit of the main rhyolite, and (3) the upper rhyolite, and for a basaltic andesite unit. Stringer and disseminated Zn-Cu mineralization occurs within the flank breccia of the low Ti rhyolite dome. An inferred vent area for an overlying basaltic andesitic unit has also been identified in this area, illustrating the coincidence of hydrothermal upflow zones with volcanic vents. LA-ICP-MS analysis of pyrite grains from several sulfide-bearing stratified intervals indicates two broad areas of higher Cu, Zn, Au, and Ag contents. The eastern region corresponds to known volcanic vents and mineralization. The western region also indicates upflow of Cu-bearing hydrothermal fluids and corresponds to a possible effusive center for the high Ti subunit. The western region does not contain known mineralization at lower stratigraphic positions, but it has not been thoroughly explored. © 2014 Society of Economic Geologists, Inc. Source

Ross P.-S.,INRS - Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique | McNicoll V.,Geological Survey of Canada | Goutier J.,Ministere des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune Quebec | Mercier-Langevin P.,Geological Survey of Canada | Dube B.,Geological Survey of Canada
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences | Year: 2011

In the Archean Blake River Group, mafic to intermediate fragmental units have controversially been proposed to have formed during the collapse of a giant submarine caldera. This paper describes and interprets these rocks, summarizing their physical characteristics, inferred origins, age relationships, and geochemical signatures. The widespread Stadacona member, south of Rouyn-Noranda, consists of several hundred metres of bedded volcaniclastic rocks interpreted to have been mostly deposited from aqueous density currents fed directly by explosive eruptions. The magmas involved in these eruptions were plagioclase-phyric, tholeiitic to transitional basalts. The similarly widespread D'Alembert tuff, in the northern part of the Blake River Group, shares many physical characteristics with the Stadacona member and is thought to have a similar origin. However, the D'Alembert tuff is approximately six million years younger than the Stadacona member. It is composed mostly of transitional to calc-alkaline andesites and basaltic andesites with very distinct trace element profiles. Volcaniclastic rocks from other areas, such as Tannahill Township in Ontario and the Monsabrais area in Quebec, are interpreted to represent mostly in situ to remobilized hyaloclastite, with no explosive eruptions involved in their genesis. Our observations and interpretations are not compatible with models in which the volcaniclastic units are emplaced during a catastrophic event in relation with the collapse of a giant caldera. Instead, the fragmental rocks were produced by various mechanisms at many distinct times during the evolution of the Blake River Group. Source

Ross P.-S.,INRS ETE | Goutier J.,Ministere des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune Quebec | Mercier-Langevin P.,Geological Survey of Canada | Dube B.,Geological Survey of Canada
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences | Year: 2011

The Archean Blake River Group (BRG) of Ontario and Quebec is dominated by submarine mafic to intermediate lavas, with more restricted felsic volcanic rocks. Given the good quality of outcrop, and high level of preservation of some BRG rocks, the mafic to intermediate lavas were used in the 1970s and 1980s to better understand the evolution of massive and pillowed submarine flows, and their associated fragmental facies (pillow breccias, hyaloclastite). Potentially, the BRG could also represent a useful volcanic succession for the study of explosive submarine eruption products in the ancient record. Before this is possible, however, a regional inventory of the mafic to intermediate volcaniclastic units is needed to clarify their characteristics and origins. In this paper, we compare and contrast volcaniclastic rocks from three areas within the same formation of the northern BRG in Quebec: the Monsabrais area, the Lac Duparquet area, and the D'Alembert tuff area. Close examination reveals pronounced differences in terms of lateral continuity, thickness, grading, bedding, clast shapes, textures, etc. in the volcaniclastic rocks. These differences are interpreted to reflect vastly different emplacement processes, ranging from hyaloclastite generation as a result of self-fragmentation and lava contact with water (dominant in the Monsabrais and Lac Duparquet areas) to aqueous density currents likely fed directly by explosive submarine eruptions (dominant in the D'Alembert tuff). Source

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