Articles | Volume 12, issue 5
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 12, 587–601, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-12-587-2005
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 12, 587–601, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-12-587-2005

  10 Jun 2005

10 Jun 2005

Multifractal magnetic susceptibility distribution models of hydrothermally altered rocks in the Needle Creek Igneous Center of the Absaroka Mountains, Wyoming

M. E. Gettings M. E. Gettings
  • US Geological Survey, 520 N. Park Ave., Rm. 355, Tucson, Arizona 85719, USA

Abstract. Magnetic susceptibility was measured for 700 samples of drill core from thirteen drill holes in the porphyry copper-molybdenum deposit of the Stinkingwater mining district in the Absaroka Mountains, Wyoming. The magnetic susceptibility measurements, chemical analyses, and alteration class provided a database for study of magnetic susceptibility in these altered rocks. The distribution of the magnetic susceptibilities for all samples is multi-modal, with overlapping peaked distributions for samples in the propylitic and phyllic alteration class, a tail of higher susceptibilities for potassic alteration, and an approximately uniform distribution over a narrow range at the highest susceptibilities for unaltered rocks. Samples from all alteration and mineralization classes show susceptibilities across a wide range of values. Samples with secondary (supergene) alteration due to oxidation or enrichment show lower susceptibilities than primary (hypogene) alteration rock. Observed magnetic susceptibility variations and the monolithological character of the host rock suggest that the variations are due to varying degrees of alteration of blocks of rock between fractures that conducted hydrothermal fluids. Alteration of rock from the fractures inward progressively reduces the bulk magnetic susceptibility of the rock. The model introduced in this paper consists of a simulation of the fracture pattern and a simulation of the alteration of the rock between fractures. A multifractal model generated from multiplicative cascades with unequal ratios produces distributions statistically similar to the observed distributions. The reduction in susceptibility in the altered rocks was modelled as a diffusion process operating on the fracture distribution support. The average magnetic susceptibility was then computed for each block. For the purpose of comparing the model results with observation, the simulated magnetic susceptibilities were then averaged over the same interval as the measured data. Comparisons of the model and data from drillholes show good but not perfect agreement.

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