Articles | Volume 18, issue 2
08 Mar 2011
 | 08 Mar 2011

Multi-scale interactions of geological processes during mineralization: cascade dynamics model and multifractal simulation

L. Yao and Q. Cheng

Abstract. Relations between mineralization and certain geological processes are established mostly by geologist's knowledge of field observations. However, these relations are descriptive and a quantitative model of how certain geological processes strengthen or hinder mineralization is not clear, that is to say, the mechanism of the interactions between mineralization and the geological framework has not been thoroughly studied. The dynamics behind these interactions are key in the understanding of fractal or multifractal formations caused by mineralization, among which singularities arise due to anomalous concentration of metals in narrow space. From a statistical point of view, we think that cascade dynamics play an important role in mineralization and studying them can reveal the nature of the various interactions throughout the process. We have constructed a multiplicative cascade model to simulate these dynamics. The probabilities of mineral deposit occurrences are used to represent direct results of mineralization. Multifractal simulation of probabilities of mineral potential based on our model is exemplified by a case study dealing with hydrothermal gold deposits in southern Nova Scotia, Canada. The extent of the impacts of certain geological processes on gold mineralization is related to the scale of the cascade process, especially to the maximum cascade division number nmax. Our research helps to understand how the singularity occurs during mineralization, which remains unanswered up to now, and the simulation may provide a more accurate distribution of mineral deposit occurrences that can be used to improve the results of the weights of evidence model in mapping mineral potential.