Mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of the hydrothermal illite from Hoam granite, South Korea: Implications for episodic fluid injections in the hydrothermal alteration system

Changyun Park, Donghoon Chung, Chaewon Park, Seungbin Seo, Jae Hwan Kim, Sung Man Seo, Il Mo Kang

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Abstract

Two stages of illite mineralization are recognized in the hydrothermal alteration zone of the Hoam granite. These illites are formed as a result of pervasive alteration by re-equilibration with high water/rock in a brittle environment below <2 km; the mineralization timing is middle Oligocene (26–27 Ma), coinciding with the timing of crustal deformation related to the opening of the East Sea (Sea of Japan). The mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of the clearly distinguished illites at each site indicate that they were mineralized from different fluid injections in distinct geological environments. Illites at the site-1 alteration zone are characterized by high-K content [K0.84 per O10(OH)2], 2M1 polytype of 99 %, hexagonal plate shape, and coexistence with pyrite. These observations indicate that the illites were formed in a slow cooling system (>250 °C), high fS2, and a relatively acidic environment. The pseudomorphic replacement combined with matrix-filling texture indicates that the illites at the site-1 alteration zone recorded the changes in fluid conditions from low to high water-rock ratio. In contrast, the illites at the site-2 alteration zone show the coexistence of polytypes (2M1, 1M, and 1Md), high-K illites [(K0.83 per O10(OH)2]/low-K illites [K0.63 per O10(OH)2], platy/hairy shapes, and presence of magnetite. Furthermore, this alteration zone no longer exhibits primary textures because of pervasive alteration induced by the dissolution-precipitation process. These results indicate that they were formed in a rapid cooling system and were continuously under conditions of high water-rock ratio, as well as in a less acidic and fS2 environment than that observed at the site-1 alteration zone. The behavior of trace elements for each illite primarily depends on the constituents of the hydrothermal fluid, which reflect different degrees of fluid evolution. The enrichment of high field strength elements (Nb and Ta), large ion lithophile elements (B, Be, and Cs), rare earth elements, and actinide elements (U and Th) in illite at the site-2 alteration zone shows that these elements formed by a more evolved fluid than that of the illite at the site-1 alteration zone. In addition, negative Ce anomalies at the site-2 alteration zone indicate that these crystallized in a reducing environment. Considering the mineralogical and geochemical properties of illites at the site-1 and site-2 alteration zones, the illite mineralization in the Hoam granite was likely generated by at least two episodes of hydrothermal illite mineralization, which originated from episodic injections of fluids, rather than continuously evolved fluids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125919
JournalGeochemistry
Volume82
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Granite
  • Hydrothermal alteration
  • Illite
  • Illite polytype
  • Trace elements

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