Fluid evolution and mineralogy of Mn-Fe-barite-fluorite mineralizations at the contact of the Thuringian Basin, Thüringer Wald and Thüringer Schiefergebirge in Germany

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Abstract

Numerous small deposits and occurrences of Mn-Fe-fluorite-barite mineralization have developed at the contact of the Thuringian Basin, Thüringer Wald and Thüringer Schiefergebirge in central Germany. The studied mineralizations comprise the assemblages siderite+ankerite-calcite-fluorite-barite and hematite-Mn oxides-calcite-barite, with the precipitation sequence in that order within each assemblage. A structural geological analysis places the origin of the barite veins between the Middle Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. Primary fluid inclusions contain water vapour and an aqueous phase with NaCl and CaCl2 as the main solutes, with salinities mostly between 24–27 mass. % CaCl2 eq. Th measurements range between 85 °C and 160 °C in barite, between 139 °C and 163 °C in siderite, and between 80 °C and 130 °C in fluorite and calcite. Stable isotopes (S, O) point to the evaporitic source of sulphur in the observed mineralizations. The S,C,O isotopic compositions suggest that barite and calcite could not have precipitated from the same fluid. The isotopic composition of the fluid that precipitated barite is close to the sea water in the entire Permo–Mesozoic time span whereas calcite is isotopically distinctly heavier, as if the fluids were affected by evaporation. The fluid evolution in the siliciclastic/volcanic Rotliegend sediments (as determined by a number of earlier petrological and geochemical studies) can be correlated with the deposition sequence of the ore minerals. In particular, the bleaching of the sediments by reduced Rotliegend fluids (basinal brines) could be the event that mobilized Fe and Mn. These elements were deposited as siderite+ankerite within the Zechstein carbonate rocks and as hematite+Mn oxides within the oxidizing environment of the Permian volcanic and volcanoclastic rocks. A Middle-Jurassic illitization event delivered Ca, Na, Ba, and Pb from the feldspars into the basinal brines. Of these elements, Ba was deposited as massive barite veins.

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