Semi-massive to massive sulfides with abundant late native sulfur were drilled in a shallowwater hydrothermal system in an island arc volcanic setting at the Palinuro volcanic complex in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy. Overall, 12.7 m of sulfide mineralisation were drilled in a sediment-filled
depression at a water depth of 630 - 650 m using the
lander-type Rockdrill I drill rig of the British Geological
Survey. Polymetallic (Zn, Pb, Sb, As, Ag) sulfides
overlie massive pyrite. The massive sulfide mineralisation contains a number of atypical minerals, including enargite-famatinite, tennantite-tetrahedrite, stibnite, bismuthinite, and Pb-,Sb-, and Ag-sulfosalts, that do not commonly occur in mid-ocean ridge massive sulfides. Analogous to subaerial epithermal deposits, the occurrence of these minerals and the presence of abundant native sulfur suggest an intermediate to high sulfidation and/or high oxididation state of the hydrothermal fluids in contrast to the near-neutral and reducing fluids from which base metal-rich massive sulfides along mid-ocean ridges typically form. Oxidised conditions during sulfide deposition are likely related to the presence of magmatic volatiles in the mineralising fluids that were derived from a degassing magma chamber below the Palinuro volcanic complex.
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