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Exploration for concealed orebodies by the analysis of volatile organic compounds contained in surface rocks: Trèves Zn-Pb deposit (Gard, France)

Journal of Geochemical Exploration
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0375-6742(88)90058-1
  • Biology
  • Earth Science
  • Geography


Abstract A previous study (Disnar et al., 1986a) indicated significant volatile hydrocarbon compounds ( nC 1 to C 5) in mineralized carbonate rocks of the Trèves Pb-Zn deposit (Gard Dept., France) as well as an accumulation of methane, ethylene and ethane in the hanging wall of the deposit. The present study analyzed rock samples taken from outcrops vertically above and at a distance from the deposit and identified three anomalous zones indicating the presence of concealed mineralization. The first zone is due to methane (radius about 3 km), the second, to alkenes (about 2 km) and the third, to alkanes, higher homologues of methane (about 1 km). These anomalies are interpreted as resulting from migration of these compounds through the sedimentary cover from the deposit where they could have been generated during mineralizing events, or during subsequent diagenesis. Their specific signature with regard to that given by samples taken at a distance from the orebodies can be attributed to the hydrothermal and biological processes responsible for the deposition of the ore.

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