Project

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Fluid chemistry and fluid-rock interaction of Alpine veins, Central Alps

English title Fluid chemistry and fluid-rock interaction of Alpine veins, Central Alps
Applicant Wagner Thomas
Number 130201
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Geochemie und Petrologie ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geochemistry
Start/End 01.04.2010 - 31.03.2013
Approved amount 206'048.00
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All Disciplines (5)

Discipline
Geochemistry
Mineralogy
Physical Chemistry
Geochronology
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences

Keywords (9)

metamorphic rocks; Alps; hydrothermal systems; fluid chemistry; LA-ICP-MS; thermodynamic modeling; fluid-rock interaction; reactive transport; geochronology

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
This project will investigate the fluid chemistry and fluid-rock interaction processes of Alpine fissure quartz veins, Central Alps, Switzerland. Metamorphic veins are one of the most important sources of information about fluid flow and fluid-rock interaction during orogenic processes and have been extensively studied from a structural, fluid inclusion and stable isotope perspective. Previous studies of the Alpine quartz veins along a geotraverse in the Central Alps have documented the mineral assemblages, fluid inclusion characteristics and stable isotope relationships. Based on the results of these studies, it was concluded that the Alpine veins have formed at the transition between final collision and exhumation and uplift of the Alps, and that the fluid systems have evolved under essentially rock-buffered conditions that approach local fluid-rock equilibrium. Despite the considerable work done, several important questions remain open, such as the chemical composition (solute inventory) of the fluids, the differences in solute content between aqueous and aqueous-carbonic fluids, the precise geochronological age of the Alpine quartz veins, the lifetime of the fluid systems involved, and the relative importance of advective and diffusive processes in fluid-rock interaction and mineralization. The proposed project will address these questions through an integrated study that will combine field and petrographic work, fluid inclusion analysis, geochronology and rigorous numerical modeling of geochemical fluid-mineral reaction. The work program will include the following tasks: (1) Generating a structural framework for the Alpine quartz veins from selected localities showing relationships of ductile deformation, faults and possibly multiple generations of massive and open veins. (2) Obtaining a comprehensive data set of the fluid chemistry of different fluid inclusion generations and assemblages preserved in the Alpine quartz veins (with emphasis on the differences between aqueous and aqueous-carbonic fluids) using LA-ICP-MS analysis of single fluid inclusions. (3) Generating new geochronological data for selected Alpine veins to constrain more precisely the formation age and the lifetime of the fluid systems. (4) Test the model that the Alpine quartz veins formed under rock-buffered conditions where diffusion processes were dominant, through novel numerical geochemical modeling. The results from the proposed study will significantly contribute to the understanding of the relative importance and scales of different mass transfer mechanisms in vein formation and metamorphic fluid flow in the upper crust.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Microanalysis of fluid inclusions in crustal hydrothermal systems using laser ablation methods
Wagner Thomas, Fusswinkel Tobias, Wälle Markus, Heinrich Christoph (2016), Microanalysis of fluid inclusions in crustal hydrothermal systems using laser ablation methods, in Elements, 12, 323-328.
A thermodynamic model for di-trioctahedral chlorite from experimental and natural data in the system MgO-FeO-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O. Applications to P-T sections and geothermometry.
Lanari P., Wagner T., Vidal O. (2014), A thermodynamic model for di-trioctahedral chlorite from experimental and natural data in the system MgO-FeO-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O. Applications to P-T sections and geothermometry., in Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 167(2), 968.
Gold concentrations in metamorphic fluids: a LA-ICPMS study of fluid inclusions from the Alpine orogenic belt
Rauchenstein-Martinek Klara, Wagner Thomas, Wälle Markus, Heinrich Christoph (2014), Gold concentrations in metamorphic fluids: a LA-ICPMS study of fluid inclusions from the Alpine orogenic belt, in Chemical Geology, 385, 70-83.
Chemical evolution of metamorphic fluids in the Central Alps, Switzerland: Insight from LA-ICPMS analysis of fluid inclusions
Rauchenstein-Martinek Klara, Wagner Thomas, Wälle Markus, Heinrich Christoph, Arlt Thilo, Chemical evolution of metamorphic fluids in the Central Alps, Switzerland: Insight from LA-ICPMS analysis of fluid inclusions, in Geofluids.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Paul Scherrer Institut Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
ISTerre, University of Grenoble France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
22 Goldschmidt Conference Talk given at a conference Fluid evolution along a cross section through the Central Alps, Switzerland 24.06.2012 Montreal, Canada Rauchenstein Klára;
European Geoscience Union General Assembly Poster Changes in fluid composition in metamorphic veins along a cross section through the Central Alps, Switzerland 22.04.2012 Wien, Austria Rauchenstein Klára;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting Talk given at a conference Fluid chemistry and fluid-rock interaction of Alpine veins, Central Alps 11.11.2011 Zürich, Switzerland Rauchenstein Klára;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
146681 Fluid chemistry and fluid-rock interaction of Alpine veins, Central Alps 01.04.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

This proposal is for an integrated PhD project to study the fluid chemistry and fluid-rock interaction processes of Alpine fissure quartz veins, Central Alps, Switzerland. Metamorphic veins are one of the most important sources of information about fluid flow and fluid-rock interaction during orogenic processes and have been extensively studied from a structural, fluid inclusion and stable isotope perspective. It has been established that vein formation takes place in a continuum between fluid- and rock-buffered environments. Previous studies of the Alpine quartz veins along a geotraverse in the Central Alps have documented the mineral assemblages, fluid inclusion characteristics and stable isotope relationships. Based on the results of these studies, it was concluded that the Alpine veins have formed at the transition between final collision and exhumation and uplift of the Alps, and that the fluid systems have evolved under essentially rock-buffered conditions that approach local fluid-rock equilibrium. Despite the considerable work done, several important questions remain open, such as the chemical composition (solute inventory) of the fluids, the differences in solute content between aqueous and aqueous-carbonic fluids, the chemical similarities between typical metamorphic fluids such as those found in the Alpine quartz veins and ore fluids responsible for gold mineralization, the precise geochronological age of the Alpine quartz veins, the lifetime of the fluid systems involved, and the relative importance of advective and diffusive processes in fluid-rock interaction and mineralization. The proposed project will address these questions through an integrated study that will combine field and petrographic work, fluid inclusion analysis, geochronology and rigorous numerical modeling of geochemical fluid-mineral reaction. The work program will include the following tasks: (1) Generating a structural framework for the Alpine quartz veins from selected localities showing relationships of ductile deformation, faults and possibly multiple generations of massive and open veins. (2) Obtaining a comprehensive data set of the fluid chemistry of different fluid inclusion generations and assemblages preserved in the Alpine quartz veins (with emphasis on the differences between aqueous and aqueous-carbonic fluids) using LA-ICP-MS analysis of single fluid inclusions. (3) Generating new geochronological data for selected Alpine veins to constrain more precisely the formation age and the lifetime of the fluid systems. (4) Test the model that the Alpine quartz veins formed under rock-buffered conditions where diffusion processes were dominant, through novel numerical geochemical modeling. The results from the proposed study will significantly contribute to the understanding of the relative importance and scales of different mass transfer mechanisms in vein formation and metamorphic fluid flow in the upper crust.
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