Document Type : Original Research Paper


Associate Professor, Geology Department, Faculty of Sciences, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran


The Basir-Abad area (northeast of Ahar, East-Azarbaidjan province) is a part of the Cenozoic Ahar-Arasbaran magmatic belt in northwest of Iran. Intrusion of granitic and granodioritic igneous rocks of Oligocene age into the Eocene volcanic rocks (andesite, trachy-andesite, andesi-basalt and basalt) resulted in occurrence of metallic mineralization along with development of widespread alteration zones in this area. Mineralogical studies indicate that these alteration zones include silicic (quartz), intermediate and advanced argillic (kaolinite, smectite, quartz and alunite), and propylitic (chlorite, epidote, albite and calcite). Hypogene ores within veins and veinlets of silicic alteration zone contain pyrite, chalcopyrite and galena accompanied by covellite, copper-carbonate minerals (malachite and azurite) and iron-oxides and- hydroxides (goethite, limonite and hematite) of supergene origin. The distribution patterns of REEs normalized to chondrite display differentiation and enrichment of LREEs relative to HREEs and occurrence of variant negative Eu anomalies in all alteration zones. Mass balance calculations of elements, using isocon method, indicate that during development and evolution of the silicic and the intermediate argillic alteration zones, REEs experienced enrichment in the former and depletion in the latter. Furthermore, development of advanced argillic and propylitic alteration zones was accompanied by enrichment of LREEs and selective depletion of HREEs.  Further investigation revealed that occurrence of negative Eu anomaly (0.20-0.23) in silicic alteration zone is related to abundance of chloride ions, increase of oxygen fugacity of hydrothermal system and highly acidic nature of the fluid. The results obtained from geochemical studies (mass balance calculations, changes in values of Eu and Ce anomalies and ratios of REEs) suggest that changes of pH, temperature, oxygen fugacity, difference in abundance and type of complexing ions in solution, fluid/rock ratio, and presence of minerals such as kaolinite, goethite, smectite, hematite and alunite played important role in differentiation, mobilization and distribution of lanthanides in the studied alteration system. 


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