Mixed hydrothermal and meteoric fluids evidenced by unusual H- and O-isotope compositions of kaolinite-halloysite in the Fe(-Mn) Tamra deposit (Nefza district, NW Tunisia)

Augustin Dekoninck, Béchir Moussi, Torsten Vennemann, Fakher Jamoussi, Nadine Mattielli, Sophie Decrée, Hédi-Ridha Chaftar, Nouri Hatira, Johan Yans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The iron mine of Tamra (Nefza District, NW Tunisia) is a 50 m thick Upper Mio-Pliocene sedimentary series impregnated by Fe-Mn oxides associated with white clay lenses with high halloysite and kaolinite content. This mineralization results from i) synsedimentary weathering/pedogenesis, and ii) mixing surface water and regional hydrothermal fluids. The oxygen and hydrogen isotope composition of halloysite-kaolinite and goethite-hematite is examined in order to provide new insights into the ore formation. This study concludes that halloysite-kaolinite was not equilibrated only with meteoric fluids: the δ 18O values have a range towards high values that are not consistent with weathering conditions for their formation and/or during their subsequent alteration. The δD and δ 18O values of goethite lead to the same conclusion. The stable isotope compositions could be related to fluid-rock interaction with the underlying marls (and/or skarns), providing relatively high δ 18O values to the fluids responsible for the white clay formation. This model also shows that the Pb-isotope compositions of halloysite-kaolinite are explained by a felsic and a carbonated end-member, similar to other ore deposits (IOCG and Sedex) of the vicinity. Several factors should be considered for the precipitation of halloysite-kaolinite and/or destabilization of primary clays in the Tamra ore, i.e. mixing of deep hot saline fluids, related to a thermally driven circulation, and meteoric waters. This hydrothermal contribution postdates the main synsedimentary weathering/pedogenetic Fe-enrichment and may be related to late Fe, Mn, Pb, Zn and As inputs of the Fe-Mn oxides.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1016/j.clay.2018.07.007
Pages (from-to)33-45
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Clay Science
Volume163
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Halloysite
  • Iron-manganese ore
  • Nefza district
  • stable isotopes
  • lead isotopes
  • Tunisia
  • Stable isotopes
  • Lead isotopes

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