New Peak Temperature Constraints Using RSCM Geothermometry on Lucia Subterrane in Franciscan Complex (California, USA): Detection of Thermal Anomalies in Gold-Bearing Quartz Veins Surrounding.
Abstract:The occurrence of deposits hosted by carbonaceous materials-rich metasediments is widespread. Therefore, we aims in this study to investigate the potential of the Raman Spectroscopy of Carbonaceous Material (RSCM) geothermometry to detect thermal anomalies in hydrothermal ore deposits environment and to demonstrate the ability of warm fluids, migrating through the sedimentary sequence to locally disturb the thermal gradient and associated peak temperatures. For this purpose, we have chosen the Lucia subterrane in the Franciscan Complex (California, USA), which includes gold-bearing quartz veins that witness a hydrothermal overprint (Underwood et al., 1995).The sediments in this zone essentially comprise greywacke and shale-matrix mélange (e.g. Frey and Robinson, 1999), which have undergone high-pressure, low-temperature metamorphism. The thermal history of the Lucia subterrane has been previously proposed by Underwood et al. (1995), essentially using vitrinite reflectance method (Rm). Rm values increase from the south to the north; they vary between 0.9 and 3.7 % (~150-280°C). All these results suggest that the Lucia subterrane underwent a regional increase of thermal gradient toward the north. Anomalous Rm values from 4.5% to 4.9% (~305-315°C) are recorded near Cape San Martin. These highest temperatures estimated are likely, associated with a late hydrothermal event (Underwood et al., 1995).
Estimated Raman temperatures 1) confirmed the increase in the metamorphic grade towards the north already shown by Underwood et al. (1995), using classical methods like mineralogy and vitrinite reflectance and 2) exhibit anomalous values (temperatures reach 350°C). These anomalies are probably due to the later hydrothermal event. This result suggests that RSCM could be used as a reliable tool to determine thermal anomalies caused by hot fluid-flow.