2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 234-11
Presentation Time: 11:30 AM


HUFF, Warren D.1, CESTA, Jason M.1, AUCOIN, Christopher D.2, HARRELL, Michael1, MALGIERI, Thomas J.3, MAYNARD, J. Barry4, SCHWALBACH, Cameron E.5, UGURLU, Ibrahim1 and WINROD, Anthony1, (1)Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati, PO Box 210013, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0013, (2)Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0013, (3)Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, (4)Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati, 500 Geology-Physics Building, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, (5)Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati, 500 Geology/Physics building, Cincinnati, OH 45221, cestajm@mail.uc.edu

The Obrochishte Mn deposits of northeastern Bulgaria rest on the slopes of local uplifts of the Moesian plate and belong to the enclosed Varna basin, linked via the Lower Kamcha trough to the Black Sea basin. The Obrochishte ore deposit is one of several Early Oligocene manganese deposits that comprise a Eurasian Manganese Province. The province includes deposits from Georgia (Chiatura), Ukraine (Nikopol, Zelenyi Dol), Turkey (Binkilik), and Kazakhstan (Mangyshlak) amongst others. In the Obrochishte deposit, Mn mineralization is localized within the lower member of the Oligocene Ruslar Formation. The dominant ore mineral is Rhodochrosite. Pisolitic and thin-banded textures, typical of manganese ores, are observed throughout the ore bed. However, bentonitic clay intercalations are also observed throughout the ore bed, and a clay component is present within the ore.

The prevailing model for manganese ore formation of these deposits indicates a marine source for the sedimentary host rock. The model suggests that an Early Oligocene transgression mobilized high salinity, Mn-rich seawater from stagnant basins to shallow shelf environments, permitting the subsequent formation of Mn-carbonate. New data on mineralogy and trace element and rare earth element geochemistry of Obrochishte ores suggest a significant role of an additional volcanogenic source. Sediments deposited during the formation of Mn-rich strata record evidence of increased eruptive activity, most distinct in the Maikop and Menilitic basins of the Lesser Caucasus and Carpathians (Varentsov et al., 2003). Intense calc-alkaline volcanism in the Lesser Caucasus had ceased by the beginning of the Priabonian, to be resumed in the middle Rupelian, when the bentonitic clay intercalations were formed.

Bivariate discrimination plots of trace and rare earth elements (207Pb/204Pb, 87Sr/86Sr, Sr/Ca, Nb/Y) suggest a three component mixing system: a seawater, terrigenous, and volcanogenic component. The presence of a smectite-rich clay component further indicates the presence of a volcanic source that produced both a felsic air fall tephra component as well as well as the more andesitic tuffs described by previous authors.