TITLE

Changes in sub-water table fluid flow at the end of the Proterozoic and its implications for gas pulsars and MVT lead–zinc deposits

AUTHOR(S)
CATHLES, L. M.
PUB. DATE
May 2007
SOURCE
Geofluids;May2007, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p209
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
A fundamental change in the nature of sub-water table fluid flow occurred at roughly the Proterozoic–Phanerozoic boundary when organic matter began to be buried in sufficient quantities that nonaqueous fluids could occupy a significant fraction of the pore space. This allowed the formation of remarkably durable capillary seals that could trap gas in large portions (hundreds of kilometers) of a basin for hundreds of millions of years. Gas loss from these gas zones can be highly dynamic, especially during gas generation. Under the right circumstances, hundreds of cubic kilometers of gas can be rapidly discharged into adjacent permeable aquifers. In Pennsylvanian/Permian time, the Arkoma Basin may have repeatedly discharged such volumes of gas into the very permeable Cambrian sandstone and karstic carbonate aquifers of the mid-continent of the United States. This could have displaced brines rapidly enough to form the Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) lead–zinc deposits of this age that are associated with the Arkoma Basin, heating them only briefly as required by maturity indicators. Sea level rise accompanying the melting of Permian continental glaciers may have triggered the gas expulsion events. This radically new mechanism for the formation of MVT deposits is just one example of the nonlinear dynamics of gas accumulations that are possible since Late Proterozoic time.
ACCESSION #
24814774

 

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