The geochemistry of the sedimentary rocks of the Harlech Dome, North Wales


Bedrock geochemical analysis, coupled with detailed data analysis, was carried out on some 260 samples taken from two areas of 'the Harlech Dome, near Dolgellau, North Wales. This was done to determine if rocks from mineralised and non-mineralised areas could be distinguished, and to determine mineralisation types and wall rock alterations. The Northern Area, near Talsarnau, has no recorded mineralisation, while the Southern Area, near Bontddu, has been exploited for gold. The rocks sampled, in both areas, were from the Cambrian Gamlan Flags, Clogau Shales, Vigra Flags, later vein materials, and igneous intrusions. All samples were analysed, using a new rapid, atomic absorption spectrophotometric technique, for Si, AI, Fe, Cu, Ni, Zn, Pb, Sr, Hg, and Ba. In addition 60 samples were analysed by X-ray fluorescence for Mn, Ti, Ca, K, Na, P, Cr, Ce, La, S, Y , Rh, and Th. Total CO2 was determined, on selected samples, using a combustion technique. Elemental distributions, for each rock type, in each area, were· plotted, and means, standard deviations, and enrichment indices were calculated. Multivariate statistical analysis on the results distinguished a Cu-type mineralisation in the Northern area, and both Cu and Pb/Zn types in the Southern Area. It also showed the Northern Area to be less strongly mineralised than the Southern one in which both mineralisation types are associated with wall rock alteration. Elemental associations and trends due to sedimentary processes were distinguished from those related to mineralisation. Hg is related to mineralisation, and plots of factor scores, on the sampling grid, produced clusters of mineralisation related factors in areas of known mineralisation. A double Fourier Trend Analysis program, with a wavelength search routine, was developed and used to recognise sedimentary trends for Sr. Y., Rb, and Th. These trends were interpreted to represent areas of low pH and reducing conditions. They also indicate that the supply of sediment remained constant over Gamlan, Clogau, and Vigra times. The trend surface of Hg showed no association with rock type. It is shown that analysis of a small number of samples, for a carefully selected number of elements, with detailed data analysis, can provide more useful information than analysis of a large number of samples for many elements. The mineralisation is suggested to have been the result of water solutions leaching ore metals from the sedimentary rocks and redepositing them in veins.

Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: Department: Geological Sciences this thesis is formed of 3 volumes If you have discovered material in AURA which is unlawful e.g. breaches copyright, (either theirs or that of a third party) or any other law, including but not limited to those relating to patent, trademark, confidentiality, data protection, obscenity, defamation, libel, then please read our Takedown Policy and contact the service immediately.
Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: geochemistry,sedimentary rocks,Harlech Dome,North Wales
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 08:06
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2019 15:38
Completed Date: 1976-02
Authors: Frost, Frank B.

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