Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Abstract During the last twenty years, IFREMER has organized many diving cruises to collect geological, mineralogical and geochemical data on submarine hydrothermal mineralization. Gold and chalcophile trace elements have been determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) in Pierre Süe Laboratory. Particularly for gold and silver determination, but also for In, As, Sb, Se, INAA is the most sensitive instrumental procedure. Typically, the East-Pacific Rise (EPR) deposits are gold-poor compared with the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) and the Lau Basin deposits. Our INAA data plotted in a Au-Ag diagram support the difference between back-are basin mineralization and spreading oceanic ridges. The most interesting samples for gold prospecting have been discovered in the Logatchev hydrothermal field at 14°45′ N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge: they show an exceptionally high mean content of gold, about 9 ppm, with a maximum of 56 ppm for one sample which contains significant amounts of native gold and electrum. It is the first conclusive evidence of a primary gold-copper association in seafloor sulphides. This may be compared with fossil hydrothermal deposits from the Oman ophiolitic complex.
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