Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences




We investigate the multiphase deformation, fluid flow, and mineralization processes in epithermal systems by presenting a detailed study of vein textures and breccias of the Kestanelik epithermal Au-Ag deposit, NW Turkey. The mineralization in the deposit is associated with several quartz veins. Fault-hosted veins and mode I veins share many textural and breccia characteristics owing to (i) overprinting of tectonic breccias formed during coseismic rupturing by subsequent coseismic hydrothermal brecciation and (ii) reworking of earlier vein breccia phases by repeated rupturing and hydraulic fracturing events. The spatial distribution of breccias at fault-hosted veins proposes that power of coseismic hydrothermal brecciation is controlled by the distance to the level of boiling within a vein. The brecciation affects the entire vein proximal to the level of boiling; however, it is limited to the footwall contact of the vein more distally at the upper levels of a vein. Varying number of mineralization events for the veins suggests that any individual earthquake event reopened only one or more sealed vein, but not all at once. Fewer mineralization events in fault-hosted veins compared to the mode I veins is either linked to (i) focusing of high fluid flux into the conduits of mode I veins that accommodate more dilation or (ii) reopening of mode I veins owing to the driven of extensional failure under low differential stress. Although fault-hosted veins record fewer mineralization events, they have higher average Au grade (4.106 g/t) compared to that of mode I veins (2.736 g/t). On the other hand, fewer mineralization events in wall rock structures compared to the adjacent faults is attributed to (i) absence or poor development of the damage zone structures in earlier seismic events or (ii) deactivation of them after clogging due to the rotation of the optimum stress field or (iii) their formation as hydraulic extension fractures. This study emphasizes the importance of detailed studies of vein infill for understanding the internal structural evolution of the veins in epithermal deposits that is interest to the geologists within both industry and academic fields.


Biga Peninsula, earthquake rupturing, hydrothermal, quartz texture, Tethyan metallogenic belt

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