Paleozoic sedimentary rocks in the Red Dog Zn-Pb-Ag district and vicinity, western Brooks Range, Alaska: Provenance, deposition, and metallogenic significance

  • Slack J
  • Dumoulin J
  • Schmidt J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Geochemical analyses of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks in the western Brooks Range reveal a complex evolutionary history for strata surrounding the large Zn-Pb-Ag deposits of the Red Dog district. Data for major elements, trace elements, and rare earth elements (REE) were obtained on 220 samples of unaltered and unmineralized siliciclastic rocks from the Upper Devonian-Lower Mississippian Endicott Group (Hunt Fork Shale, Noatak Sandstone, Kanayut Conglomerate, Kayak Shale), the overlying Carboniferous Lisburne Group (Kuna Formation, unnamed drowned shelf facies), and the Pennsylvanian-Permian Siksikpuk Formation. Major base metal sulfide deposits of the region are present only in the Kuna Formation, which in the Red Dog district comprises siliceous black shale and black chert, minor limestone (calcareous radiolarite), and sparse lithic turbidite and bedded siliceous rock. Gray and rare black shales of the Kayak Shale and common black shales of the Kuna Formation are anomalously low in iron (avg Fe/Ti = 6.25 and 6.34, respectively) relative to other Paleozoic shales in the region (9.58-10.6) and to average shales worldwide (10.1-10.5). In contrast, the bedded siliceous rocks contain appreciable hematite (avg Fe/Ti = 35.0) and high U/Ti and REE/Ti ratios that are interpreted to reflect low amounts of detrital material and a major Fe-rich eolian component. Geochemical data (e.g., MnO

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Authors

  • John F. Slack

  • Julie A. Dumoulin

  • Jeanine M. Schmidt

  • Lorne E. Young

  • Cameron S. Rombach

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