Northeastern Section (45th Annual) and Southeastern Section (59th Annual) Joint Meeting (13-16 March 2010)
Paper No. 65-21
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:05 PM

EVIDENCE FOR ARSENIC-MINERALIZATION IN GRANITIC BASEMENT ROCKS, AYER GRANODIORITE, NORTHEASTERN MASSACHUSETTS

KOTEAS, G. Christopher1, KESKULA, Anna J.1, STEIN, Carol L.2, MCTIGUE, David F.2, KOPERA, Joseph P.3, and BRANDON, William C.4, (1) Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, 611 North Pleasant Street, 233 Morrill Science Center, Amherst, MA 01003, ckoteas@geo.umass.edu, (2) Gannett Fleming Inc, 15 Willard Road, New Ipswich, NH 03071, (3) Office of the Massachusetts State Geologist, University of Massachusetts, Department of Geosciences, 611 North Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01003, (4) U.S. EPA, Region 1, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109

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.

Northeastern Section (45th Annual) and Southeastern Section (59th Annual) Joint Meeting (13-16 March 2010)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 65--Booth# 21
Igneous/Metamorphic Petrology and Geochemistry (Posters)
Sheraton Baltimore City Center: International ABCDF
8:00 AM-12:05 PM, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 42, No. 1, p. 160

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