Formation of a Magmatic-Hydrothermal Ore Deposit: Insights with LA-ICP-MS Analysis of Fluid Inclusions

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Science  27 Mar 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5359, pp. 2091-2094
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5359.2091

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The physical and chemical mechanism of ore precipitation in the Yankee Lode tin deposit (Mole Granite, Australia) was quantified by direct trace-element microanalysis of fluid inclusions. Laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was used to measure element concentrations in a series of fluid inclusions representing the fluid before, during, and after the deposition of cassiterite (SnO2). Tin precipitation was driven by mixing of hot magmatic brine with cooler meteoric water. At the same time, a separate magmatic vapor phase selectively transported copper and boron into the liquid mixture.

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