Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Dept. of Geology, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Dept. of Mining, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran.

3 Dept. of Remote Sensing and GIS, Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran, Iran.


The Saridoon porphyry system is located 3 km northeast of Sarcheshmeh copper mine. Alteration mapping of the area was carried out using PIMA (Portable Infrared Mineral Analyzer) analysis of 145 samples, ASTER satellite images, XRD analysis of 22 samples, field observations and petrographic studies. The lithocap is characterized by an advanced argillic alteration assemblage. The alteration occurs at high topographic levels and on the flanks of the topographic heights. Despite extensive exposures, the alteration varies in intensity and occurs as patches or partially exposed. Pyrophyllite spectral feature is used as a measure of alteration intensity (pyrophyllite abundance).
Phyllic alteration occurs in the central part of the sampled area. This spectrally distinct alteration assemblage occurs at all elevations, and is partially overprinted by advanced argillic alteration. Intermediate argillic alteration occurs on the flanks of advanced argillic and phyllic alterations. The mineral assemblage might have been formed by supergene processes, or alternatively, by low temperature hydrothermal fluids. The PIMA and XRD samples were analyzed by ICP-MS for a number of metals and semi-metals. A comparison of data from Saridoon and those from three other porphyry systems in northwest Kerman belt (Darrehzar, Abdar, and Chah Firuzeh) shows lower contents of Cu and Mo, and higher contents of As, Sb, Pb in Saridoon. The extend alteration systems in Iranian magmatic arc with low frequency of Cu and Mo shall be checked for advanced argillic alteration mineral assemblage using modern spectrometry instrument (e. g. PIMA). This distribution pattern of elements, coupled with the widespread occurrence of advanced argillic alteration at surface, suggests that stripping of overlying rocks at Saridoon was not as deep and effective as in many other porphyry systems in the Kerman belt. These findings suggest that alteration systems with low Cu and Mo contents and mineral assemblages typical of advanced argillic alteration merit closer and deeper inspection.

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