Hydrothermal processes on Earth have played an important role in the evolution of our planet. These processes link the lithosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere in continuously evolving dynamic systems. Terrestrial hydrothermal processes have been active since water condensed to form the hydrosphere, most probably from about 4.4 Ga. The circulation of hot aqueous solutions, or hydrothermal systems, at and below the Earth's surface, is driven by magmatic heat. Hydrothermal systems form beneath the oceans (e. g. spreading centres, oceanic plateaux), in lakes, intracontinental rifts, continental margins and magmatic arcs. Hydrothermal fluids can be juvenile-magmatic or derived from seawater, metamorphic, meteoric, connate waters or a mix of two or more of these.
The interaction of hydrothermal fluids with wallrocks and/or the hydrosphere and changes in their composition through time and space, contribute to the formation of a wide range of mineral deposit types and associated wallrock alteration. On Earth, sites of hydrothermal activity support, both at surface and in the subsurface, varied ecosystems based on a range of chemotrophic microorganisms. An intriguing question is whether primitive life is still being created in present-day hydrothermal systems, or did it occur only in the ancient geological past? This volume will be of interest to scientists and researchers in Geo and Life Sciences departments, as well as to professionals and scientists involved in mining and mineral exploration.
Foreword by Peter A. Cawood Acknowledgements. 1. Water and hydrothermal fluids on Earth 2. Hydrothermal processes and wall rock alteration 3. Tectonic settings, geodynamics and temporal evolution of hydrothermal mineral systems 4. Intrusion-related hydrothermal mineral systems 5. Porphyry systems; fossil and active epithermal systems 6. Skarn systems 7. Submarine hydrothermal mineral systems 8. Metalliferous sediments and sedimentary rock-hosted stratiform and/or stratabound hydrothermal mineral systems 9. Orogenic, amagmatic and hydrothermal mineral systems of uncertain origin 10. Hydrothermal systems and the biosphere 11. Hydrothermal processes associated with meteorite impacts 12. Hydrothermal processes and systems on other planets and satellites 13. Uranium hydrothermal mineral systems References. Index
The state of the art reference book on hydrothermal processes and mineral systems, a must for anyone involved in mineral deposit studies, and essential for each geoscience library (Reimar Seltmann, Natural History Museum, London)