You are on page 1of 15

See

discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/247863921

Borate deposits of northern Sonora, Mexico;


stratigraphy, tectonics, stable isotopes, and
fluid inclusions

Article in Economic Geology July 1998


DOI: 10.2113/gsecongeo.93.4.510

CITATIONS READS

16 39

3 authors, including:

Miguel Angel Miranda Gasca C. J. Eastoe


EGEX SA de CV Economic Geology and Explor The University of Arizona
11 PUBLICATIONS 51 CITATIONS 124 PUBLICATIONS 2,117 CITATIONS

SEE PROFILE SEE PROFILE

Some of the authors of this publication are also working on these related projects:

Late Quaternary paleoclimate of the Thar Desert View project

Lake sediments View project

All content following this page was uploaded by Miguel Angel Miranda Gasca on 15 January 2016.

The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.


Economic Geology
Vol.93, 1998,pp. 510-523

BorateDeposits
of NorthernSonora,Mexico:Stratigraphy,
Tectonics,
StableIsotopes,
andFluid Inclusions
MIGUELA. MIRANDA-GASCA,
L*
University
of Arizona,Department
of Geosciences,
Tucson,
Arizona85721

JOSlARTUROGOMEZ-CABALLERO,
Universidad
NacionalAuttnomade Mdxico,Institutode Geolog[a,
04510Mdxico,D.F., Mdxico

ANDCHRISTOPHER
J. EASTOE
University
of Arizona,Department
of Geosciences,
Tucson,
Arizona85721

Abstract

Mid-Tertiary tectonicextension
produced basinswithlacustrine sedimentsbearingborates, zeolites,
gyp-
sum,anddetritalgoldin northern Sonora.Colemanitcdeposits associated
withhowlite,
gypsum, andeelestite
arepresent in theMagdalena andTubutama basins.
In theMagdalena basin,theLa TinajadelOsodeposit
containsat leasttwogenerations of colemanitc,
thefirstreplacingstratiformandprobably syngenetieulexite,
andthesecond, morevoluminous, of dearepigenetie
origin.Fluidinclusions
in epigenetie
colemanitcindicate
deposition fromverylow-salinity hydrothermalfluidat temperatures up to 180C,mainly100 to 140C.
Waterof crystallizationfromepigenetic colemanitchas5D valuesof -35 to -20 per rail,indicating that
waterin thehydrothermal fluidwasof meteoric
originbutwasnotlacustrine brinebecause ofthelowsalinity.
The534S values of gypsum associated
withcolemanitc,
4.1to 10.6permil,aretypical of sulfate
in extensional
basins
of theregion.
A realgar
specimen
hasa 34Svalueof -32.9, consistent
withformation
of sulfide
by
bacterialreductionof sulfate.Boratewasinitiallydepositedasulexite,thenreplacedby colemanitc
after
burial.Epigenetic
colemanitc formedafterlacustrinebrinehaddisappeared,probablybycirculating
meteoric
waterheatedasa resultof highthermalgradients in theupperplatesof metamorphic corecomplexes.
We
formallypropose the namesMagdalena, Cuesta,E1Torre6n,andTubutama Formationsfor mid-Tertiary
sedimentary andvolcanicrocksoftheupperplatesin theMagdalena andTubutama basins.
ThenameBaucarit
Formation shouldbe restricted
to theyoungersedimentary rocksoverlyingtheseformations.

Introduction face.He thinksit unlikelythat the colemanite formedby


WHENboratemineralsoccurin a sedimentary environment, replacementof ulexiteor dehydrationof inyoitebecausecole-
theyarecommonly in lakesediments. It isgenerally accepted manitc hasnot been seen replacingulexitein the Bigadi
thattheborates aredeposited fromlacustrine brinesthought deposits.
to be derivedfromspringwatersrelatedto volcanic activity In thispaper,we examine a groupof colemanitc deposits
(Ellis,1979).The mosthydratedboratemineralsgenerally in northern
Sonora. We provide new data ontectonicsetting,
precipitatedirectlyfrom surfacebrines(Muessig,1959), stratigraphy,
structure, relationshipwith volcanism,mineral-
whereaslesshydratedspecies developunderconditions of ogy,stableisotopes, andfluidinclusions asconstraintsonthe
lowerwateractivity(Christet al., 1967).The boronin the originof the mineralizing fluidsandthe boron.In addition,
northernSonoradeposits couldbe of magmatie derivation the Magdalena, Cuesta,La Ventaria, E1Torre6n,andTubu-
because of its incompatible character with principalrock- tama Formations are formally proposed.
formingsilicates, or mightbe leachedfromcountryrockby
hydrothermal fluid. GeologicSetting
Theoriginof colemanitc hasbeena matterof controversy
(BarkerandBarker,1985).Colemanite is theleasthydrated The boratedeposits of southwestern NorthAmerica,in-
memberof theinyoite-eolemanite series.Usually,it hasbeen cludingthoseof Sonora, are locatedin Tertiarylacustrine
considered an alteration productof ulexiteby dehydrationbasinsof the BasinandRangeprovince. Detritalgoldand
andlossof sodium(Foshag, 1921;Muessig, 1959).However, zeolites are found in the northern Sonora basins.
BarkerandBarker(1985)andChristet al. (1967)arguedthat Metamorphic corecomplexes havebeenrecognized from
colemanitc couldbeprecipitated fromlacustrine brineunder southern Canadato northwestern Mexico.Theirageranges
appropriate conditions. Helvaci(1995)considers thatcole- from Eocene close to the United States-Canadaborder, to
manitcof Bigadi 9, Turkey,formedfromthe solution within Oligocene-Miocene in southwestern Arizona(Coney,1980).
unconsolidated sediments below the water-sediment inter- TheMagdalena andTubutama basins(Fig.1) arepartof the
upperplatesof metamorphic corecomplexes. The Sonoran
Corresponding
author:email,mirandan@morl.telmex.net.mx basins containsynkinematically deposited terrigenoussedi-
Andador101 L17 M306, Col. CiudadChapultepec, ments,volcanic
* Presentaddress: rocks,lacustrine limestone,gypsum, borates
6'2030 Cuernavaea,Morelos, Mtxieo. (Table 1), and zeolites.

0361-0128/98/1982/510-1456.00 510
BORATE
DEPOSITS,
NORTHERN
SONORA,
MEXICO 511

112' 111 110 109

31

30'

29'

Fro.1. Location
ofborateareas
innorthern Sonora
(afterStewartandRoldSn, inprep.).1 = Magdalena,
2 = Tubutama,
and3 = MazatSnareas;a = normalfault,b = detachmentfault,andc = tiltedblock,all showing
dip.

Magdalena basin theMagdalena metamorphic corecomplex, consists of latite


The Magdalena basinis part of the upperplateof the dated by K-Ar at 25.9 _+0.8 to 27.3 _+0.6 Ma (Miranda and
Magdalena metamorphic corecomplex(Mirandaand De Quiroz, 1988). The La Ventana unit overliesthe Bisbee
Jong,1992;Fig.2).ThelowerandupperplatesareseparatedGroupandisoverlain bytheCuesta andMagdalena Forma-
by the low-angleMagdalenadetachmentfault (Nourse, tions (Fig. 3). The thickness of this unit reaches 400 m. Its
1990).The Magdalena metamorphic corecomplexlower type localityis Cerro La Ventana.
plateismainlycomposed oflowerTertiarygranitesandmid- The CuestaFormationconsists almostexclusively of sedi-
Tertiaryleucogranites
(Nourse,1990),asevidenced bya 33.2 mentary breeeias derivedfromBisbeeGroupsediments, but
_+0.7 Ma granite(Gilmont,1978)anda 26 _ 0.6 Ma two- in a few instances fragments are derived from mature Jurassic
micagranite(K-Ar,Damon,unpub.data,in Anderson, 1992) conglomerates. A basaltlavaflowis interbedded with the
locatedin northernSierraLa Madera(Fig. 2). The oldest CuestaFormation but has not been dated (Miranda and De
rocksof the upperplatearefossiliferous LowerCretaceousJong,1992).TheCuesta Formation isseveralhundred meters
rocksof theBisbeeGroup.Subhorizontal mylonitic
foliation thick, and itstype locality
is 4 km west of Mina E1 Yeso.
andstretching linearion
areoverprinted onthemid-Tertiary The Magdalena Formation (Fig.3) consists of fluvialand
leucogranites.Nourse(1990)determined a minimum stretch- lacustrine sediments. Conglomerates interbedded withsand-
ingof 10 kin. stonesand shalesunderlie and overlie lacustrine limestones,
The La Ventana Formation,located ontheupperplateof blackshales withpyriteandgreenshales. Thisunitcontains
rhyolitic tuffswhichweredeposited underwater, andwhich
have been altered to zeolites and montmorillonite. The lacus-
TABLE1. BorateMineralsandTheirChemical
Compositions trinebedscontain
theboratedeposits
thatwillbedescribed
in the Sonoran
Deposits in more detail below. Alkalic basaltic andesires(Irvine and
Mineral Chemical
composition Baragar,
1971)interbeddedwiththelacustrinedeposits
indi-
catea K-Arageof 21.6 _+1.0to 22.7 _ 0.4 Ma (Table2;
Ulexite NaCaB509 8H20 MirandaandDe Jong,1992).Boththefluvialandlacustrine
Colemanitc Ca2BeO]] 5HaO
Howlite Ca4SiaB]0Oa3 5HaO
Miocenesediments areunconformablyoverlainby the 19.6
Cahnite Ca2AsBO6 2H20 _+ 0.9 Ma (K-Ar) E1 Torre6n volcanicunit (Miranda and
Veatchite SrBnO16{OH)s' HO Quiroz,1988).No evidenceof K metasomatism
wasrecog-
Meyerhofferite Ca2B6011
7HO nized.Someof theanalytical dataarelistedin Table2. The
Prieeite Ca4B]oOm 7H20
uppermemberof theMagdalena Formation isa conglomer-
Maeallisterite MgaBaO20
15HaO
Wardsmithite CasMgBa4042
30H20 ate with fragmentsof all olderunitspresentin the basin
plusfragments of granitesandmylonites of the lowerplate
512 MIRANDA-GASCA ET AL.

Sierra
La Ventana
Tt
Sierra
El Torren
Km
IEXPLANATION
Alluvium
Unconformity

- Baucarit
Fm.
^ ^ Unoonforrnity

-:-Trhyolific
ElTorre0n Fro.,
dikes includes
Unconformity
basaltic andesItc flows
and conglomerate lenses

i,Magda
Fro.,
inclu Cuesta

La Ventana

Unconforrnity

..,.'Lower
plate
mylonite
and
Fm.

granite
Fro.

U nconforrnity

:.. Mural
(BisbeeLimestone
Group)

'-------- Contact
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Detachment fault

....
."-------------------o.
/"-'-'-+Tt'"- + + *Sierra
+ El+Torre6n
* ++++ Normal
fault
:.- * 4. .t. *T.=.
Im ,....... , . - q- - 4 -{. + + + - -!. .. Anticline
Tc ":' + ':0 '..... g .... lO [L.
Syncline
+ + , I +
kilornetera
.... Dirt road

FIC. 2. Geologicmapof the Magdalenabasin,showing


a stratigraphic
composite (below)anda generalized
section
structural
section
(above)(afterMirandaandDe Jong,1992).EYR = E1YesoRanch,MDF = Magdalena detachment
fault,MEA = MesaE1Alamo,TDOCD = Tinajadel Osocolemanitc deposit.

(MirandaandDe Jong,199g).The sedimentary rocksof the Duringthe southwestward movement of the upperplate,
Magdalena Formation arethickertowardthe centerandat compression resultedfrom the slidingof the sedimentary
the eastern portionof thebasinthanat thewesternportion sequence. Anticlines andsynclines wereformedparallelto
(Fig.2). Its thickness is at least1,000m, anditstypelocality the Magdalena detachment fault.Later,extensional stress
is at ArroyoLa Escuadra, locatedin the La Tinajadel Oso resulted in thedevelopment of normalfaulting.
colemanitc depositarea. UpperTertiaryunconsolidated gravelsandconglomerates
At the La Tinajadel Osocolemanitc deposit,the Magda- overlying alltherocksdescribed aboveonanangular uncon-
lenaFormationoverliesthe CuestaFormationon a grada- formityare correlated with the BSucarit Formation. These
tionalcontact.The fluvialsediments gradeinto lacustrine continental sediments weredeposited in basinsbounded by
facieswherethe boratedeposits arehosted.The lacustrine high-angle normalfaultsrelatedto theBasinandRangetec-
deposits gradeupwardintofluvialsediments andfinallyinto tonics,well aftercessation of Magdalena metamorphic core
a red conglomerate withgraniticaridmylonitic clasts of the complex activity.
TheB5ucarit Formation wasclearlydepos-
upperpartof the Magdalena Formation (Fig.3). The sedi- ited under tectonic conditions different from those related
mentaryfaciesin the centralportionof thebasininterfinger to the deposition of the Magdalena andCuestaFormations.
in a morecomplex fashion. Conglomerates,lacustrine sedi- Tubutama basin
ments,andpalagonitic basaltsare presentat severalstrati-
graphiclevels(Fig.3). The Tubutama basinis locatedin the upperplateof the
Boththe CuestaandMagdalena Formations are uncon- Tubutama metamorphic corecomplex, approximately 100km
formably overlainbytheE1Torre6nvolcanic unit.Thismajor southof the border(Fig. 1). The Tubutamametamorphic
unit consists of rhyoliticignimbrites andflowsinterbedded corecomplex lowerplateconsists of lowerTertiarygranites
with alkalie basalts. A basal alkalie andesite is 19.6 _+ 0.9 andschists intrudedby mid-Tertiary two-mica leucogranites
Ma (K-Ar method,MirandaandQuiroz,1988).Its thickness thathaveundergone mylonitization.
Theupperplateisjuxta-
reaches 300 m andthe typelocalityis at SierraLa LSmina. posed withthelowerplatealongtheTubutama detachment
A swarmof rhyolitie dikesisassociated withthevolcanismfault(Fig.4). Borate-mineralized mid-Tertiary sediments of
of SierraE1Torre6n.Theyintrudethe lowerplateat Sierra theTubutamaFormation restonOligocene rhyolitic
volcanic
La Madera,perpendicular to the mylonitielinearion.The rocksdated as 33.9 _+ 0.8 Ma (K-Ar method, Damon and
thickness of thesedikesreaches 20 m.Theyhavebeendated Shafiqullah, 1983,in Arriagaet al., 1985).Theyarepartof
bytheK-Armethodas19.8+_0.4 Ma (MirandaandQuiroz, theupperplateandhavebeenfaultedby en echelon listric
1988). faults(Figs.4 and5) thatproduced threeblocksnamed Tubu-
BORATEDEPOSITS,NORTHERN SONORA,MEXICO 513

Central portion
(>3,000 rn thick)

O- O- 0
Gravel and conglomerate
m 'Basalt
flows
interbedded
with Northwestern portion
x x'J'['J'!'x rhyolitic
ashflowtuff (- I ,000 rn thick)
ld'"'kJ.111I I I I
x x x x
x.x.X.x.X)xX.x*x!
Rhyomitic
plugs
': =
xV v v Alkalmc andeslie(19.6Ma) J . Gravel
andconglomerate

o
/////////l
_
Basaic andesitc (22 Ma)
m_

o_o_o_o_ Upperpa'congmemteof
o o o o .... ......
-- ' ' L o_ o_ o_ my=nmcanagmnmcc=s
-- -- --
.m_m_m_m_J i
E/I ........
o o o o


,,,, ..... ,a L .....
o o :.t Conlomerate
ofmym facies
,hbo-
'd and
granitic
clasts "'' rates,
OCD(.e,g.8).
_ __ =asanmandesitc(22 Ma) .
i ...........
: Water-laid
tuff
Sedimentary breccia

,.;..:..;...-...:.
/
: -_. - -_- -_- A^^^A^^^A^A Alkalic latite flows

Sedimentary breccia with an


"> .ht" interbedded basalt flow and
i>%j rhyolitic
olistollths

[^^^^^^^^^^1Alkalic
latite
flows
(27Ma)
,^^ Lower
plate:
two-mica
granite,
1%1 leucogranite,
rhyoliticdikes ofmylonite
19.8 Ma and

EXPLANATION

Jj JA^
AAA^
t
x xx
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

FIG.3. Diagramatic stratigraphic


columns of central
andnorthwestern
portionsof theMagdalena basin.i = gravel
andconglomerate,
2 = rhyolitic
flows
andplugs, 3 = basaltic
flows
andrhyolitic
ash-flow tuffs,4 = alkalic
andesitc,
5=
conglomerate
of mylonitic
andgraniticclasts,
6 = basaltic
andesitc,
7 = shale,
8 = lacustrine sedimentaryrockswith
borates,
9 = sandstone,
10---water-laid
tuff,11= sedimentary
breccia,
12= alkalic
latite,
and13= mylonite withrhyolitic
dikes.

tamaI, II, andIII (Arriagaetal.,1985).TheRedConglomer-(Fig.4).Theshales areinterbedded withgypsum andborates


ateandthe BSucarit Formation restunconformably onthe andgradeupwardintosiltstones andlimestones, thensand-
mid-Tertiary units. stones,andthenconglomeratic sandstones. Thetypelocality
A 22.3 Ma palagonitic highpotassium basalticandesitc of theTubutama Formation isat Rancho La Salada (Fig.4).
(DamonandShafiqullah, in G6mez-Caballero et al.,1981)is TheRedConglomerate restsunconformably ontheTubu-
interbedded withlacustrine sediments. Gypsum withdissem-tamaFormation(G6mez-Caballero et al., 1980;Fig. 5). It
inatedcolemanitc is presentin theTubutama I block(G6- contains fragments of limestone, basalt,andesitc,rhyolite,
mez-Caballero et al.,1980).A clinoptilolite
bedispresent at mylonite, andschist;it isapproximately250m thick.Its type
thetopof thelacustrine sediments. Thislacustrine portion localityis at the RanchoLa Saladacreek.
changes laterallyto sandstones interbeddedwithtuffaceous The BSucarit Formation overlies the Tubutama Formation
shalesto the south,where the TubutamaII blockis located andthe RedConglomerate on an angularunconformity. It
514 MIRANDA-GASCA ET AL.

T^i3I,l; 2. K-Ar Analytical


Data andAgeCalculations
for Rocksfromthe Magdalena
de KinoArea(MirandaandDeJong,1992)

K Radiogenic Atmospheric Age


Sample
no. Mineral (%) Ar (ppm/g) Ar (%) (Ma) Unit
UAKA 84-250 t Biotite 7.130 340.4 24.7 27.3 _ 0.6 1
UAKA 87-148 '2 Biotite 7.030 330.2 28.1 26.9 _ 0.6 1
UAKA87-147
Feldspar 9.426 426.9 9.2 25.9_ 0.8 1
UAKA87-101
'2 Feldspar 4.540 180.2 16.6 22.7_ 0.4 2
UAKA87-100
Feldspar 8.522 295.9 4.1 19.8_+0.4 3

MirandaandQuiroz(1988)
.2MirandaandDeJong
(1992)
Agesweredetermined
in the Geochronological
Laboratory
of the Department
of Geosciences
of the University
of Arizonaby M. Shafiqullah
andP.
Damon;unit i = La VentanaFormation,
unit 2 = basalticandesitc
of the Magdalena
Formation,
unit3 = rhyoliticdikein the E1Torre6nFormation

111'30'

E X P L A N A T I O N

Gravel and sand

Dacite (5.5 Ma)

Bucarit
Formation
Unconformity

oo
o o I
Red
conglomerate
Unconformity

I:,,:,ITubutama
Formation
(basaltic andesite, 22.3 Ma)

v Felsic volcanic
rocks
(33 Ma)
Unconformity

o o
'.----Schist


-' Two-mica
leucogranite
and mylonite

B Borates

, Detachment
fault,
dashed
where concealed

TDF Tubutama detachment fault

o o o Normal fauit

0 I 2 km

, I

A B

Tubutama
,,o __ _Tubutam_a
I,1
_ + . ...3

FIG. 4. Geologic
mapof the Tubutama
basin(modified
afterArriagaet al., 1985),andstructural
section.
TDF =
Tubutama detachment fault.
BORATEDEPOSITS,NORTHERNSONORA,MEXICO 515

Alluvium, 0-30 m thologyaresimilarto thoseof theupperportionof the Mag-


Valley fill, 0-40 m
Dacite lava flows, 5.46 Ma, 0-10 m
dalenaFormation. Thesesimilarities
permitthecorrelationof
Baucarit Formation, 0-100 m
theupperMagdalena FormationwiththeRedConglomerate.
Equivalents oftheLaVentana volcanic unitandtheCuesta
Basalt lava flows, 7.01 Ma, 0-10 m
Formationare not presentin the Tubutamaarea.The 33.6
Red conglomerate, 0-250 m
Ma rhyolitic andandesiticvolcanic
rocks presentatTubutama
aremissing in the Magdalenabasin.TheBSucarit Formation
restsunconformably on Miocenesedimentary rocksin both
the Magdalena andtheTubutama areas(Fig.6).
Fine- and medium-grained sandstone Thefluvialandlacustrine depositsofthenortheasternpor-
with conglomerate lenses interbedded
with limestone, 0-200 m
tionoftheMazat5ncorecomplex havenotbeendated.How-
ever,theregional context
suggests
anageofdeposition similar
Fine-grained sandstone interbedded with to thatof the Magdalena andTubutama Formations.
shale, 0-30 m
Shale interbedded with gypsum and cole-
Borate Occurrences
manite

a;Irainedsandstone Magdalena
basin
Fine-grained sandstone, 0-30 m Severalboratelocalities
existin the Magdalena
basin(Fig.
Alkalic basaltic andeslte, 22.3 Ma, 0-20 m 2) withstyleandmineralogy asfollows:
Coarse-grained sandstone, 0-70 m
1. Mesa del Alamo: Howlite veins and strata-bound dis-
Andesitic and rhyolitic agglomerate (33.9
Ma), 0-150 m
seminations.
Rarecolemanitc, meyerhofferite,andpriceitc
arepresent.Analcime,
clinoptilolite,
andphillipsite
arepres-
ent asalteration
productsof rhyolitictuffaceous
sediments
Mylonific gneiss and two-mica schist (McAnultyandHoffer,1972;BarkerandLefond,1979;Lef-
ond and Barker, 1979, 1985).
2. E1 Yeso Ranch: A 0.5-m stratum of colemanitc interbed-
FIG. 5. Stratigraphic
section
of theTubutama
area. dedwithgypsum
andgreenshale.Minorrealgaroccurs
adja-
cent to the colemanitc.
3. LaTinajadelOsocolemanitc deposit:
Thelargest known
is anindurated polymictic conglomeratecomposed of many deposit,locatedin the northwestern part of the basin,de-
kindsof sedimentary, igneous, andmetamorphic rocksde- scribed in detail below.
rivedfromtheunderlying rocks.A basaltflowat thebaseof
thisunitdatesat 7.01_ 0.22Ma (DamonandShafiqullah, TheLa TinajadelOsocolemanite deposit isstratiform
and
in G6mez-Caballero et al.,1981;Arriagaet al.,1985).A por- ishosted in lacustrine
sediments ofthe Magdalena Formation
phyriticdaciticlavaflowdatedat 5.46 _ 0.13 Ma (Damon (Fig.7). The discovery of the La Tinajadel Osocolemanitc
andShafiqullah, in G6mez-Caballero et al.,1981;Arriaga et depositis creditedto P. Dobbs,a U.S.Boraxgeologist. The
al., 1985)overliesthe Miocenelacustrine sedimentary rocks lacustrinesediments areconformably overlainandunderlain
andthemylonites andschists in thenorthern portionof the by fluvialsediments. The La Tinajadel Osocolemanitc de-
Tubutama area(Figs.4 and5). positcropsout for approximately 3,000m andis knownin
an area of 3,000 x 700 m. It has a monoclinalstructureeast-
Mazatcin basin
westin strikeand25N in dip (Fig.8). Thisbodyis folded
Terrigenoussedimentsare presentat the northeastern intosmaller anticlines
andsynclines withaxesorientedN 30
margin of SierraMazatin.Theclastic sediments strikeparal- W andplunging tothenorth.TheLaTinajadelOsocoleman-
lel to the detachment zone of the Sierra Mazarin metamor- itc depositis 30 to 47 m thick (Aikenand Kistler,1992;
phiccorecomplex describedbyDaviset al.(1981).Lacustrine Fig. 7).
facies includetuffaceousshales, interbedded withanhydrite TheLaTinajadelOsocolemanire depositpresents several
and limestones.Veatchite,a strontiumborate, and howlite differentlithological characteristics (Miranda-Gasca et al.,
wereidentified byJ.F.McAllister fora Mexican government1989, in Aiken and Kistler, 1992). The lowest zone of the
agency(Consejo de Recursos Minerales). depositis 2.3 m in averagethickness (Fig. 7). This zone
Correlation containscolemanire andhowlite in equalproportions, hosted
inblackshales.A barren,matrix-supported sedimentary brec-
Theupperplatesedimentary unitsofnorthern Sonora can ciaconformably overlies
therocksdescribed above. It iscom-
becorrelated between eachoftheiroutcrop areas.Thelacus- posedofblackshalefragments andangular fragments derived
trinefaciesof the Magdalena Formation are equivalentto fromtheBisbee Group.Blackshale interbedded withgypsum
similar facies
oftheTubutama Formation (Fig.6). Bothunits andmarloverliethissedimentary breccia.Blackshalewith
are interbedded with alkali-rich basaltic andesites 22 Ma in colemanitc rosettesand brownmarl constitute the higher
age.The RedConglomerate of the Tubutama regionrests gradezoneof the deposit(Fig.7).
unconformably onthefluvialfaciesof theTubutama Forma- The thickestunit of the La Tinajadel Osocolemanitc
tion.The RedConglomerate contains fragments of granitic depositis 12 m onaverage.It is a sedimentary brecciamade
rocksandotherlithologies. Its stratigraphic position andli- of shaleandBisbeeGroupfragments. Thisunitalsocontains
516 MIRANDA-GASCA ET AL.

OoO o o o o o o
TUBUTAMA BASIN

5.46 Ma

21.6-22.7 Ma

Z2.3 Ma

33.9 Ma

._

A A A A
A A A A

25.9-27.3 Ma ^ ^ ^

Ftc. 6. Correlation
diagramof the Magdalena
andTubutamabasins.

olistolithsderivedfromtheunderlying units.Colemanitc was clays,andscarce howlite,cahnite,strontianite, andorpiment.


introduced to the breccia as veinlets and disseminations. The upperandlowerstratigraphic zonesof the deposit con-
Shaleinterbedded withmarloverliethesedimentary breccia. rain howlite and calcite. Beneaththe lower howlite-rich zone,
It contains colemanitc veinlets and disseminations. calciterhombohedra andpseudomorphs of calciteaftercole-
Two colemanitc generations havebeenrecognized. The manitcare found.The middleportionof the depositonly
firstgeneration isstrataboundandrichin realgar. Itsvolume contains smallamounts of howlite,commonly relatedto frac-
is insignificant.A second colemanitc generation appears as tures.The upperportionof the upperbrecciaalsocontains
veinletsand rosettes, andit crosscuts the firstgeneration.howliteand calcite.Howliteand calciteform an envelope
Thevolume ofthesecond colemanitc generation, whichbears aroundthe deposit.
lessarsenic thanthe firstgeneration, is by far the mostim- Tubutama basin
portantin the deposit. Realgar is always presentin fractures
andopenspaces of colemanitc, howlite,rockfragments, and The Tubutama basin has been faulted into three blocks:
clays.Thisis interpreted asa lateleaching andredepositionTubutama I, II, andIII (Fig.4). The mineralization in each
of realgarafterformation of colemanitc andhowlite, verylate blockdiffersalongwith the sedimentary facies.The Tubu-
in the paragenetic sequence. tamaI blockischaracterized byblackshaleinterbedded with
Othermineralspresentin the depositare ulexiteasrare gypsum. Colemanitc ispresent asdisseminations andveinlets
replacement remnantsin the first colemanitc generation,andis restricted to the low-energy, reduced,lacustrine envi-
fluorite,pyrite,celestite,
realgar,andwilkeite.Figure9 shows ronment. Rare,minute,irregular masses ofulexitearepresent
the paragenetic sequence of theseminerals. in colemanitc.
The La Tinajadel Osocolemanitc depositcropsoutat its Colemanitc in the Tubutama II block is hosted in two
southern limit.Its outcrop zoneis a spongy massof calcite, tuffaceous greenshales containingreduced ironandin red-
BORATEDEPOSITS,NORTHERNSONORA,MEXICO 517

EXPLANATION
Figure11shows
theparagenetic
sequence
at theTubutama
area.

Gold Occurrences

'-';...
";;:-
- Sandstone Goldplacers
basins.
arepresent
Theyarepresent
in theMagdalena andTubutama
in bothfluvialandlacustrine facies.
The goldcontentof the lacustrine faciesusuallyrangesfrom
0.1 to 0.5 ppm.The goldwasapparently derivedfromthe
unroofing of the lowerplateof the metamorphic corecom-
i Sedimentary
breccia plexesbecause it is hostedin the synkinematic sediments
described above.Several goldoccurrences arepresent at the
Magdalena detachment fault,e.g.,the E1 Sahuaral andLa
Conglomerate Jojoba prospects,locatedsometensofkilometers to thewest
Olistolith of theMagdalena basin.Theseprospects areassociated with
Colemanite
rosette
zonesof hematiteandsilicaalteration relatedto the Magda-
Howlite
lena detachment fault. Similar occurrences, now eroded,
Colemanite
couldhavebeenthesource
of detritalgoldin themid-Ter-
tiarysediments.
Fluid Inclusions

IlOrn The fluidinclusion


U.S.Geological
studywascarriedout on a modified
Survey
gasttowheating-freezing
by SEG,Inc. The stagewascalibrated
theticfluidinclusions.
The data,summarized
stagebuilt
usingSynFlincsyn-
in Figure12
and Table 3, are for inclusionsin colemanitc.

La TinajadelOsocolemanitc
deposit
FG. 7. Stratigraphic
columnof lacustrine facieswith boratesof the
MagdalenaFormationat the La Tinajadel Osocolemanitcdeposit. Bothone-phase liquidinclusions
andtwo-phase liquidplus
vaporinclusions
arepresent.One-phase inclusionslargerthan
100/marethemostabundant. Theshapeof theone-phase
dishsiltstones andsandstones thatareinterbedded (Fig.10). inclusions
iselongateandusuallyparalleltocolemanitccleav-
Colemanitc isgenerally euhedral andisapparentlytheprod- age.Two-phase inclusionsstudiedrangefrom10 to 150/m
uct of recrystallization of earlyulexitebecause ulexitehas andhavevaporto liquidratiosrangingfrom 1:9to 2:8 by
been found as remnants in colemanitc. De Pablo-Ga15n et volume (Table3). Theyareirregularin shape. Primaryand
al. (1986) foundthat the howlitefrom thisareashowsB and Si secondaryinclusionsof bothtypeswereobserved. Themelt-
substitution byA1connoting advanced diagenetic
conditions.ingtemperatureoficeofbothone-andtwo-phase inclusions
Colemanitc ismainlyfoundasveinlets andsandstonecement. ranges from-0.3 to 0.0C,indicatingaqueous fluidof very

N
Sierra

Sierra
de
Magdalena colemanite
body
-- o o o

& & & &

& &

I I Formation -x_ -x_

"..1Lower Plate
mylonite and granite I lkm I

FIG. 8. Crosssection
of the La Tinajadel Osoarea,betweenSierraMagdalena
andSierraLa Ventana.MDF =
Magdalenadetachment
fault.
518 MIRANDA-GASCA ET AL.

SEDIMENTA- DIAGENETIC SUPERGENE


MINERAL
Ulexite RY FACIES FACIES ALTERATION

Colernanite 1st gen. --


Colernanite 2nd gen.
EXPLANATION
Celestite
Wilkeite --

Realgar
Gypsum
Pyrite
Fluorite
Howlite --
P:-:t
Calcite

Orpirnent
Cahnite
Strontianite
Hematite

FIG. 9. Paragenetic
posit,Magdalena
sequence
at the La Tinajadel Osocolemanite
de Kino,Sonora,
Mexico.
de-
F-'--'--'--'-
t Marl
low solutecontent.Two-phase
inclusions
homogenized
be-
tween 60 and 180C,with modesnear 75, 135, and 160C.
Inclusions
decrepitated
between225and285C.
E1 Yeso Ranch
20 m

The fluidinclusion populationof E1YesoRanchis similar


to thatat theLa TinajadelOsoarea.All inclusionsarelined
up alongfractures, andhereare interpretedas secondary.
One-phase inclusions
rangein sizefrom40 to 100bin, and
two-phase inclusionsfrom 60 to 100 bm. Vaporto liquid
ratiosin two-phase inclusions
rangefrom1:9to 2:8 by vol-
ume.The meltingtemperature of ice rangesfrom-1.0 to
0.0C.Two-phase inclusions
homogenized in twogroups,one
near60Candtheothernear110C. Decrepitations
occurred
between 243 and 259C.

Tubutama II
FIG.10. Stratigraphic
column
oftheborate-bearing
portionoftheTubu-
One-andtwo-phase fluidinclusions,
interpreted asprimary tama II block.
andsecondary,wereobserved. Theone-phase fluidinclusions
arelarge,100bm across, andveryabundant. Two-phase in-
clusions
rangeup to 60 bm across andgavehomogenizationto SOsby heatingBaSO4with Cu20 and SiO2at 1,100C
temperaturesof 116to 118Cand150to 175C.Onetem- (ColemanandMoore,1978).RealgarwasheatedwithCu20
peratureof 226Cwasmeasured in an inclusionof unusual at 950C(Robinson andKusakabe, 1975).Isotoperatioswere
phaseratio(Table3), whichmayhaveleakedsincetrapping. measured on a modified
VG 602C mass spectrometer.
Results
The meltingtemperature of ice measured are expressed
in onlyfoursec- 13 and Table 4. as634S(CDT) andare summarized in Figure
ondaryinclusionswas0.0C.Certaininclusions containdark
globules
thatmaycontain hydrocarbons. Decrepitationswere The gypsum samplesare fromthe Magdalena andTubu-
observed from 308 to 350C. tamabasins
andhavea 634S
rangeof4.1to 10.6perrail.The
samplesuiteincludesbeddedgypsum,veinlets,
andgypsum
General observations
closely
relatedto borates.
Theredoesnotappearto be any
Whereprimaryinclusionscouldbe studied, theyindicate
hydrothermal
fluidof verylow salinityandhomogenization
SEDIMENTAo DJAGENETIC SUPERGENE
temperatures
ranging upto 180C.Thisshows thattheenvi- MINERAL
RY FACIES FACIES ALTERATION

ronmenthasbeennearsurfacesincethe deposition of the Ulexite


sedimentary
rocks,sothatpressure corrections areinsignifi- Gypsurn --
cant.
Anhydrite
0olernanite
SulfurIsotopes Howlite --
Calcite --
Sulfurisotopesweremeasured in 11 gypsum samples
and
onerealgarsample.Gypsum wasdissolvedin diluteHC1and
the sulfatewasprecipitated
asBaSO4.Sulfurwasconverted FIG. 11. Paragenetic
sequence
at the Tubutama
area,Sonora,
Mexico.
BORATEDEPOSITS,
NORTHERNSONOBA,
MEXICO 519

Hydrogen waspreparedaccordingtothemethodofColeman
et al. (1982).Stepwise
heatingto 300 andthen800Cto
removefluidinclusionwaterwasabandoned asa technique
because results were inconsistent. Colemanitc contains '21
percentwaterby weight;if the colemanitc
contained
1 per-
cent fluid inclusionwater, that water would have to differ
60 100 150 200 230
fromthewaterof crystallization
in 6D by40 per milbefore
Degrees C thechange
wouldbegintobedetectable. Theanalytical
preei-
[Tubutarnall
[EIYesoRanch
lTinajadelOso
FIG. 12. Homogenization
temperatures
of fluidinclusions
in epigenetic TABLE3. Fluid InclusionDatafor Epigenetic
Colemanitc
colemanirefrom Tubutama II, Tubutama basin;and from E1 Yeso Ranch, froinDepositsof NorthernSonora,
Mexico
andLa Tinajadel Osoarea,Magdalena
basin.
Size
Th (C) Tm(C) Type Gas/liquid (/m)
relationship
between634Svalues
andlocation
orsample
type. La Tinajadel Oso
The realgar
sample
is fromE1YesoRanchandhasa 64S Unit V 162 -0.2 P 2:8 25
valueof -3'2.9 per rail. rosettes
The634S
values
ofthegypsum
aresimilar
tothe634S
values 146 0 P 1:9 10
of sulfatein otherbasinsof the region.Groundwaterfroin 60 0 P 1:9 150
60 0 P 2:8 150
the Tucsonbasinhasa rangefrom4 to 14 per rail (K'alin, 83 -0.3 P 2:8 20
1994),andgypsum fromtheMioceneQuiburis Formation in 129 0 P 2:8 120
theSanPedroValley,Arizona,
hasa 634S
valueof
In the caseof theTucsonbasin,the rangeof the 6.,SsPer
values rail. 135
180 0
P
P
1:9
2:8
20
150
131 0 P 2:8 40
mayrepresent mixingbetweensulfurderivedfromigneous
130 -0.3 P 1:9 70
sulfides,
near0 per rail, andsulfatedissolved
fromPaleozoie 100 P 2:8
or Mesozoic evaporiteswith634Svaluesnear1'2permil or 136 P 2:8
greater(Kalin,1994).Anothermechanismforgenerating
high 121 0 P 1:9 40
634Svaluesis partialreduction
of sulfate
bybacteria
under 0 S 0:1 >100
anoxie conditions. Sulfur sources in the Sonoran basins under 0 S 0:1 >100
0 S 0:1 > 100
considerationaremostlikelysimilarto thosefor theTucson 0 S 0:1 > 100
basin;the regional
geologyis similarin bothcases.Thereis 118 0 P 1:9 10
evidenceof bacterialreductionin the Magdalenabasin, Veinlet 72 0 P 1:9 100
75 0 P 2:8 140
wheregypsumoccursin faciesrichin organiccarbon.The
99 0 P 2:8 90
realgar
froinE1YesoRanch
hasincorporated
low634S
sulfur 164 -0.3 P 2:8 50
values,
whichisbestexplained
bybacterial
reduction.Certain 136 0 PS 2:8 30
gypsumbedsexposedattheE1Yesominearelimonitestained 73 P 1:9 10
onweatheredsurfaces,
suggesting
the presenceof finelydi-
videdpyritein thegypsum.
Therangeof 634S
values
in gyp- E1Yeso Ranch

sumfrom this studycouldthusrepresent fluvialinput of Rosettes 60 -1.0 S 1:9 >100


sulfurintoephemerallakeswithdifferentdegreesofbacterial 64 - 1.0 S 1:9 > 100
reduction,or possibly
tectonically
inducedexpulsion of sul- 114 0 S 1:9 $0

fate-bearing
groundwaterintothebasins, or somecombina- 108 0 S 1:9 40
tion of these effects. 115 - 1.0 S 2:8 60
0 S 0:1 > 100
0 S 0:1 > 100
HydrogenIsotopes
The 6D valuesof sixeolemanite
samples
weremeasured. Tubutama II

Samples
weregroundfinelyin an agatemortaranddriedat Veinlets 117 S 3:7 5
40C in order to remove as much fluid inclusion and adsorbed 116 0 S 1:9 20
wateraspossible.A '23-rag
portionofeachsample wasplaced 0 S 2:8 10
0 S 2:8 30
in a smallvyeortesttube(6-ramdiam),whichwasplugged 118 0 S 1:9 60
with silicawoolandplaced,openendfirst,in a 9-ramvyeor 226 P 4:6 30
tubesealedat oneend.Anextra6-ramvycortubewasplaced 170 P 2:8 8
insidethe9-ramtubeto preventthesampleandholderfrom 175 P 3:7 15
150 3:7 10
blowingoutof the furnace.
The 9-ramtubewasevacuated andinsertedgraduallyinto
a frnaeeat 800C.The sampleremainedin the furnace basin: Deerepitation
temperature
of eolemanite: La Tinajadel Oso,Magdalena
285,225,265C;E1YesoRanch,Magdalena basin:243,'256,59C;
untilno furthergaswasevolved, approximately15 min.The Tubutama II, Tubutama basin:315, 350, 325, 318, 344, 308C
evolved waterwasfrozenintoa coldtrapcooledwithliquid Abbreviations: P = primary,S = seeondau', PS = pseudosecondary, Th
nitrogenandwasthenfrozenon to zincin a reaction vessel. = homogenizationtemperature;T, = meltingtemperature
520 MIRANDA-GASCAET AL.

EIYeso
Ranch I Realgar TABLE5. HydrogenIsotopeDatafor Colemanite
(waterof crystallization)
O I Yeso
Mine r--1Gypsum
veinlet Sampleno. (SD(%,)

A Tubutama
I - Gypsum
bed Magdalena,
E1YesoRanch
EYO-1 -23
O Tinaja
delOso [ Gypsum
interbedded
with borates EYO-2 -24, -23, -22
Magdalena,
La Tinajadel Oso
TD-1 -27, -31
TD-2 -20, -26
Tubutama

I I I I I I I I I I I I I i I I TU-1 -33, -29


-30 +5 +10 TU-2 -35
(34S
Multipleresults
indicate
repeatmeasurements
FiG.13. Thei348valuesofgypsumandrealgar
fromE1YesoRanch,
El
Yesomine,andLa TinajadelOsoarea,Magdalena
basin;
andgypsum
from
Tubutama I, Tubutama basin.
8D of coexistingwaterat 25Cwouldhave6D about10per
mil lessthanthat of coexisting
waterat 200C.It therefore
sionfor watersamples loadeddirectlyon to zincis 2.6 per seemsmostlikelythatcolemanitc formedbetween30 (the
mil (20-).The datafor colemanitc (Table5) showa greater approximate lowertemperature limitfor solutions
withwater
variance,presumably asa resultof theextraprocessing
steps. activitynear 1; Smithand Medrano1996)and 180C(the
The data are consistent,with 6D valuesbetween -20 and highestfluidinclusiontemperature fromthisstudy)would
-31 per mil in the Magdalenaareaandbetween-29 and showa depletionof 0 to 20 per mil relativeto coexisting
the SDvalue water, which would thus have had 6D between -35 and -9
-35 per mil in the Tubutamaarea.To calculate
of waterin equilibrium a fractionationpermilatTubutama,
with the colemanitc, and-24 and-2 permilforthesamples
factorfor colemanitc wateris required. Noneis available in from E1 Yeso Ranch.
the literature.However,dataexistfor numerous otherhy- Suchwatercannotbe of magmatic origin(Taylor,1979)
dratedsaltsat lowtemperature (seesummary in Friedman anddoesnotresemble modern ground waterfromtheregion.
andO'Neil,1977)andhydrous minerals overa rangeoftem- Groundwaterin the Tucsonbasin,Arizona,hasa 6D range
peratures (summarized in Taylor,1979).With theexceptionsof -70 to -50 per mil (Kalin,1994),and-60 to -70 per
of mirabiliteandborax,hydratedsaltsandotherhydrated mil in the southeastern ImperialValley,California(Gleason,
minerals aredepletedin deuterium byup to 20 per mil rela- 1994).The rangeshouldbe similarin northernSonora;at
tiveto coexistingwaterattemperatures upto 35C;mirabilite present,contours of 6D in precipitation are thoughtto run
is enriched, and borax showsno fractionationbetween 8 and largelyparallelto the coastalongthe southwestern margin
35C(Matsuoet al., 1972).Where dataare available,mineral- of North America(Taylor,1979;Fig. 6). There are a few
waterfractionation decreases towardhighertemperaturesdata(unpub.,isotope geochemistry laboratory, University of
alongtrendsthatarecloseto parallelfor differentminerals; Arizona) thatconfirm this;sevenground-water samples from
by analogy withclays,minerals with 6D 20 per mil lessthan nearPuertoPefiasco witha 6D rangeof -62 to -48 permil,
andsinglesamples fromBahiaKinowith a 6D valueof -48
per mil, andthe Aconchihot springwith a 6D valueof -57
TABLE 4. SulfurIsotopeDatafromColemanitc Deposits per mil. The 6D valuesrangingfrom -35 to -2 per mil
of Northern Sonora, Mexico
probablyreflecta different6D rangeof precipitation or
a4S ground-water recharge at the time of colemanitc formation.
Sample no. (%0) Description Evaporation of lakewateris an unlikelyexplanation for the
high8D values because ofthelowsalinities ofthefluidinclu-
E1YesoRanch,Magdalena basin sions.Mioceneprecipitation andgroundwatermayhavedif-
EYR-1 -32.9 Realgar feredfromtheirmodernanalogs because of the absence of
EY-3 5.3 Gypsum crystals
in gypsum mud
EY-4 6.2 Gypsuminterbedded with colemanitc polar ice caps (decreasing 6D of the oceans by about 10U),
E1Yesomine,Magdalena basin because of differenttopography (affecting theisotopic evolu-
EY-1 6.7 Gypsumveinlet tionof moistairmasses), orbecause ofwarmerclimate(possi-
EY-2 5.8 Gypsumveinlet bly increasing 6D asa resultof enhanced evaporation). In
EY-5 7.1 Beddedgypsum any case,a meteoric origin isindicated forwater in thehydro-
EY-6 4.7 Gypsum interbeddedwithhowlite
La TinajadelOso,Magdalena basin thermalfluidfromwhichthe epigenetic colemanitc formed.
TDO-1 10.6 Gypsumin colemanitc
rosette Discussion
Tubutama I
T-1 6.3 Gypsumveinlet The first alkalic volcanism of the La Ventana unit occurred
T-2 8.3 Gypsumveinlet(spring) longafter cessation
of compressiveactivityrelatedto the
T-3 4.1 Beddedgypsum
T-4 7.2 Beddedgypsum SevierandLaramideorogeniesin northernSonora.Thisalka-
licvolcanismindicates
thattherewasa periodof at least25
BORATEDEPOSITS,NORTHERNSONORA,MEXICO 521

m.y. separating
the compressionalorogenyfrom the exten- veinletsare alsofoundin stronglyoxidizedsiltstones and
sionalorogeny. rockspresentat sandstones in the Tubutama II block close to the local reduc-
The 33.9 + 0.8 Ma volcanic
thebaseof theTubutama basinmaybe relatedto the Sierra ingenvironment of Tubutama I wheretuffsweredeposited.
Madre Occidentalmagmatieare, activebeforethe alkalie The abundance of olistolithsin the La Tinajadel Osocole-
volcanism. TheCuestaFormation wasdeposited in theMag- manitcdeposit, theturbiditie natureofthesedimentary bree-
dalena basinasa resultofrifting22m.y.ago.TheMagdalenaeias,andtheincreasing volcanicaetMtyjustbeforetheborate
Formationis at leastpartiallycontemporaneous with the deposition, indicated by the water-laidtuffsbelowandin
CuestaFormation because it interfingers withit; theirlithol- the boratedeposit,supportthe interpretation that during
ogyrepresents the denudation of the risingcorecomplex. hydrothermal activityin thelake,normalfaultingandvolcanic
Synkinematie alkalieandesites andrhyolites weredeposited aetMtytookplace.Hydrothermal fluidcontaining boronand
withtheclosed lacustrinesediments andwiththefirstsynge- arsenic couldhavebeenpumped to thesurface asa resultof
netieborates. TheTubutama Formation wasdeposited under thistectonicactivity. The firstdeposited borateshouldhave
similarconditions, indicating thatlacustrine basinformation been ulexite, becauseit is found as remnant coresin second-
wascommon duringthe development of metamorphic core generation colemanitc in boththeMagdalena andTubutama
complexes in northwestern Mexico. basins.Colemanitc mayprecipitate undersurface conditions
Afterthelacustrine sediment deposition, lowerplatemylo- if [H20] and[Na]/[Ca]are appropriate (Christet al., 1967;
nitesandgranites wereintersected by the erosionsurface BarkerandBarker,1985);however, pH requirements vary
andtheupperMagdalena Formation conglomerate andthe forulexiteandcolemanitc precipitation. PalmerandHelvaei
RedConglomerate of theTubutama regionweredeposited.(1995)concluded thatcolemanitc of the Kirkadeposit, Tur-
Theeastern portionof the Magdalena basinwasraisedand key,precipitated fromsolutions at lowerpH thanulexite
thesediments slidandfoldedalongtheresultant ramp.The based onSnB valueinterpretations.
upper MagdalenaFormationconglomerates conformably Thereare at leasttwo colemanitc generations in the La
overlie,andin someplaces underlie, thelacustrine sedimentsTinajadelOsocolemanitc deposit. Thefirstoneisstratiform.
indicating that risingand foldingwere synkinematie. The It islocated in theupperportionof thisdeposit. Thesecond
lowerplaterosefroma depthof approximately 10to 15km, colemanitc generation isbyfarvolumetrically moreimportant
wheremylonites maydevelop, tothesurface inapproximately andisclearlyepigenetie. Thefirst-generation colemanitc con-
8 m.y.,beginning at 27 Ma. Thisindicates anupliftrateof tainsfinelydisseminated realgar,whereas thesecond-genera-
1.25to 2.5 km/m.y.per millionyear. tion colemanitc contains muchlessrealgar.The fact that
Volcanism increased afterthemaindisplacement andfold- ulexitehasbeenfoundasreplacement remnants in seeon&
ing events.Alkalieandesitc19 m.y. old eruptedontothe generation colemanitc in all Sonoran occurrences mayindi-
Magdalena Formation. Afterthe andesitc, the paroxysmalcatethatthe firstdeposited boratein the lacustrine basins
alkalie
rhyolitie-andesitie-basaltievolcanism ofSierras LaLam- wasulexite. Thisphenomenon wasobserved byFoshag (1921)
ina and Torre6noccurred. The 19 m.y. rhyolitiedikesof in California deposits. Replacement of ulexitebycolemanitc
SierraLa Maderawereintruded in extensional fractures par- withincreasing temperature isconsistent withavailable infor-
allelto the Magdalena detachment fault.Thisindicates an mationonthethermalstability oftheseminerals. In solutions
increase in extension that facilitated the magmaextrusion.withwateractivity near1,ulexiteisstableupto temperatures
TheE1Torre6nvolcanic unitwasalsofoldedanddisplacednear45C,andcolemanitc is stableat temperatures above
ontheMagdalena detachment fault,indicating thatthefault 32C(Smithand Medrano,1996,p. 265). Helvaei(1995)
wasstillactiveafter19 m.y. suggeststhatcolemanitc rosettes fromBigadi 9 precipitated
High-angle normalfaultsweredeveloped well afterthe from solution within unconsolidated sediments below the wa-
low-angle normalfaultingfinished. Thissecond extensionalter-sediment interface andtheulexitewasnottheprecursor
eventis knownasthe BasinandRangedisturbance. Deep mineralbecause ulexitecoreswerenotfoundin Bigadi 9 de-
basinsdeveloped wherethe BSuearitFormationaccumu- posits.The seeon&generation colemanitc is in rosetteform
lated.The 7.01+ 0.22Ma basalts of thelowerpartof the butisalsopresent asveinlets. Theshalearound thecoleman-
BSuearit Formation helpto situate thebeginning ofthisepi- itc rosettesobservedin this studyhasbeen moldedas a
sodeandthe5.46__+ 0.13Ma daeites areindicating a mini- resultof volumedecrease duringreplacement of ulexiteby
mumagefor thisunit. Extension continuedafter5.46 Ma colemanitc, requiring thecolemanitc rosettes tohaveformed
because these units are also faulted. afterthe originalborates wereburied.
Thelowerplateleueogranites wereprobably produced by Howliteis foundasan envelope aroundthe depositand
partialfusionof the middlecrustasa resultof heatingby alongwith spongy calciteandis frequentlyassociated with
mantle-derivedalkaliebasalticandesites.Boron, as an ele- fractures. Whenin contact, colemanitc presents conspicuous
ment incompatible with principalrock-forming silicates,replacement textures by howlite.Theserelationships arein-
couldhavebeenconcentrated withvolatiles duringthefirst terpreted ashowlitedeveloped fromcolemanitc bysilicaad-
partialmeltingduringanearlystageoftherift development.ditionfromgroundwatersafterburial.A spongy massof
Therestriction ofborates toaninterval near22 Ma mayalso calcite,clay,howlite,anda smallamountof strontianite at
meanthatthelacustrine basins wereavailable fortrapping the the La Tinajadel Osocolemanitc depositoutcropis inter-
fluidswithboronduringthattime.Someboratedepositionpretedasa weathering productof thecolemanitc bodywith
occurred understrongreducing conditions, asindicated by small amounts of celestite.
theassociation withorganic matterandpyritein theMagda- Borateis commonly, but notconsistently, associated with
lena basinand the TubutamaI block. However,colemanitc reduced faciesof the basins;oxidationstatesare almostcer-
59,9, MIRANDA-GASCA ET AL.

tainlynota criticalfactorin generating the boratedeposits.(Gat, 1981).In thisway,it is possibleto accountfor the
The transportand deposition of borateinvolvesno redox isotopic effectsof evaporation withoutnecessarily generating
chemistry. Rather,the association with reducedbasinspre- highsalinity.
sumably results fromthe factthatanyboratebroughtto the The fluidinclusions probably do not represent the fluid
surface islikelytohaveaccumulated in permanent lakes,and thatinitiallyconveyed B andAsintothebasins. Thecoleman-
suchlakeswere commonly anoxie.Likewise,the common ireappears to haveformedafterbrinehaddisappeared from
but not consistent association of boratewithgypsum hasno thebasins. The solutions wereprobably circulatingmeteoric
significance otherthanthetendency of bothsulfateandbo- watersheatedbythehighthermalgradient thatshould have
rateto accumulate in lakes.The 534S valuesof the gypsum existed duringthedevelopment ofbasins ontheupperplates
wouldnot, therefore,be expected to correlatewith borate of metamorphic corecomplexes.
mineralization unlessboratewere transported in a sulfate-
richfluidof distinctive isotopicsignature. Stratigraphy
The association of boratewithrealgaris probably a result We propose thatthe nameBSucarit Formation shouldbe
of hydrothermal activity.Laterremobilization of the realgar restrictedtotheyounger sediments thatrestontheTubutama
by groundwatersled to redeposition in openspaces like Formation, the RedConglomerate of the sameregion,and
cleavage andfractures, andonimpermeable surfaces ofother the Magdalena Formation. Thetwopackages of sedimentary
minerals andelasts. Arsenicappears to be concentrated with rocksdiffergreatlyin lithology andtectonicsetting,andthe
earlyboratein the La Tinajadel Osoeolemanite deposit in distinction betweenthem appliesto a considerable areaof
reducedsediments, but it is not consistently presentwith northern Sonora.RoldSnand McDowell (1999,)definedthe
borate,andit is almostcompletely absentfromoxidized fa- BSucarit Formationasthe sedimentary package formedbe-
cies-bearing borate.The singleS isotopemeasurement on tween9,0.2and14.1Ma thatcropsoutin ArroyoE1Obispo
realgarstrongly suggests thata supplyof baeteriogenie H2S, in southern Sonora. Theydidnotfindthe strongunconfor-
limitedto reducedfacies,but not necessarily presentthere, mirythatseparates theTubutama andMagdalena Formations
wasrequiredto bringaboutthe originalprecipitation of from the BSucarit Formation as we describe it here. This
realgat. mayindicatea difference in tectonicstylebetweenthe two
Twotypesof fluidinclusions werefoundin eolemanite of regions of thestate,consistent withthelackof metamorphic
La Tinajadel Osoeolemanite deposit,Tubutama,and E1 corecomplexes in the southern partof Sonora.
YesoRanch(Fig.12).Single-phase fluidinclusions at room
temperature, 25C,should havebeenformedattemperatures Acknowledgments
below65C(Roedder,1984).The ice-melting temperature Thisresearch waspartiallyfoundedby ConsejoNacional
of 0C indicates water with no sodium chloride. These charac- de Cienciay Tecnologia, Mxico(CONACYT)andby the
teristicsmayindicate thatsingle-phase fluidinclusions from Institutode Geologia oftheUniversidad Nacional Aut6noma
eolemanite of Sonoran depositswereformedduringdissolu- de Mxico(U.N.A.M.).We thankC. Jaques-Ayala andK. De
tionandreerystallization ofborates bymeteoric waterduring Jongforfieldworkcooperation. We areverythankful toF. W.
weathering. Similarfluid inclusions were documented by McDowell,P.C. Goodell,andW.A.Wodzicki, whocritically
BarkerandBarker(1985)in borates fromDeathValley,Cali- reviewed themanuscript. C. Helvaei,G. Swihart, G.I. Smith,
fornia. B.N.Watson,andananonymous Economic Geology reviewer
Homogenization temperatures of two-phase fluid inclu- contributed withconstructive criticismsthatimproved sub-
sions rangefrom60to 180C (Fig.12),withthemostpromi- stantially theoriginal manuscript; wefeeldeeplyindebted to
nentpopulation located between100and140C. Nohomog- them.J.J.Vega-Carrillo andG. Pantoja-Irys assisted in the
enizationtemperatures of eolemanite fluid inclusions were preparation of the manuscript.
found in literature;however,Barker and Barker (1985) esti-
for boratesfromDeathValley, June26, 1995;February4, 1998
mateda burialtemperature
California, between 70 to 19,0Cbased on vitrinite re- REFERENCES
fleerance and in the transformation of smeetite to illire. The
Aiken,J.L.,andKistler,R.B.,1992,Generalgeology oftheMagdalena basin,
homogenizationtemperatureof Sonoraneolemanitefluidin- Sonora,Mexico,in Clark,K.F.,et al.,eds.,Geology
andmineralresources
elusions
partiallycoincides
with thisestimation.
Soft,easily of northernSierraMadreOccidentd, Mexico:E1PasoGeologicalSociety,
cleaved
minerals mayleakfluidsundermechanical andther- FieldConference, September 18-21, 1992,Guidebook, p. 367-376.
Anderson, T.H., 1992,An over,Sewof someaspects of Sonorangeology,
in
malstress
(Roedder, 1984).Thehigherhomogenization tem- Clark,K.F., RoldSn-Quintana,J., andSchmidt,R.H., eds.,Geologyand
peraturemeasurements couldhavebeeninducedby those mineral resourcesof northern Sierra Madre Occidental Mexico: E1 Paso
processes. Geological
Socie, Field Conference,
September
18-21, }992, Guide-
TheSDdatafortheeolemanite indicate book,p. 211-221.
waterofhydration
a meteoric water.ThelowsalinitiesArriaga-Melndez,
originforthelow-salinity sultados
H., Pefia-Rocha,
de la evaluaci6n
L., andG6mez-Caballero,A., 1985,Re-
del dep6sitode boratosdel 5tea Tubutama,
also indicate that this water was not lacustrinebrine, which Sonora:Geomimet[Mexico],no. 141,p. 41-60 (in Spanish).
vouldhaveundergone evaporative
concentration of solutes Barker,C.E., and Barker,J.H., 1985,A re-evaluation of the originand
in dosedbasinswithgypsum anda shiftin SD diagenesis
precipitation of boratedeposits,
DeathValleyregion,California, in Barker,
in a morepositive
direction.
Low-altitudemeteoricwatersin J.M.,andLefond,s.j., eds.,Borates:Economic geology andproduction:
NewYork,AmericanInstituteof Mining,Metallurgical, andPetroleum
arid regionsmayshowisotopicenrichment as a resultof Engineers,p. 101-135.
evaporation
duringor immediatelyafterprecipitationevents, Barker,J.M.,andLefond,S.J.,1979,Someadditional boratesandzeolites
andcorrespondingenrichmentsareobserved in ground water from the Mesa del Alamo borate district, north-centralSonora,Mexico:
BORATEDEPOSITS,
NORTHERNSONORA,
MEXICO 59,3

Society
of MiningEngineers
of theAmericanInstituteof Mining,Metal- Irvine,T.N., andBaragar,
W.R.A.,1971,A guideto thechemical dassifica-
lurgical,
andPetroleumEngineers,Fallmeeting
andexhibit, Tucson,
Ari- tion of the commonvolcanicrocks:Canadian
Journalof Earth Sciences,
zona,Preprint79-367, 12 p. v. 8, p. 523-548.
A.H.,andErd,R., 1967,BoratemineralassemblagesKalin,R.M., 1994,Thehydrogeochemical
Christ,C.L.,Truesdell, evolution
of thegroundwaterof
in thesystem Na20-CaO-MgO-B2Oa-H.20: Geochimicaet Cosmochimica theTucson basin
withapplication
to3-dimensional
groundwaterflowmod-
Acta,v. 31, p. 313-337. eling:Unpublished Ph.D.dissertation,
Tucson,
University,
ofArizona,
510
Coleman, M., and Moore, M.P., 1978, Direct reductionof sulfatesto sulfur p.
dioxideforisotopic analyses:
AnalyticalChemistry, v. 50,p. 1594-1598. Lefond,S.J.,andBarker,J.M., 1979,A borateandzeoliteoccurrence near
Coleman, M.L., Shepherd, T.J.,Durham,J.J.,Rouse, J.E.,andMoore,G.R., Magdalena, Sonora,Mexico: ECONOMIC GEOLOGY, v. 74,p. 1883-1889.
1982,Reduction ofwaterwithzincforhydrogen isotope Analyti- --1985, The boratesand zeolitesofnorthcentralSonora,Mexico,in Barker,
analysis:
calChemistry, v. 54, p. 993-995. J.M.,andLefond,S.J.,eds.,Borates: Economic geology andproduction:
Coney,P.J.,1980,Cordilleran metamorphic corecomplexes: An overview: New York,AmericanInstituteof Mining,Metallurgical, andPetroleum
GeologicalSociety of AmericaMemoir153,p. 7-31. Engineers,p. 177-195.
Davis,G.H.,Gardulski, A.F.,andAnderson, T.H., 1981,Structural-petrolog- Matsuo,S.,Friedman,I., andSmith,G.I., 1972,Studies of Quaternarysaline
icalcharacteristicsof somemetamorphic corecomplex terranesin south- lakes;
I. Hydrogen isotope fractionation
in salineminerals:Geochimica et
ernArizonaandnorthernSonora, in Ortlieb,L., andRoldfin-Quintana, J., Cosmochimica Acta,v. 36, p. 426-436.
eds.,Geology of northwestern Mexicoandsouthern Arizona:Hermosillo, McAnulty,W.N., andHoffer,J.M., 1972,A newhowliteoccurrence in So-
Sonora,Universidad Nacional Aut6noma deMxico, InstitutodeGeologa, nora,Mexico:Sociedad Geo16gica Mexicana Boletln,v. 33,p. 21-24.
Estaci6nRegional del Noroeste,p. 326-365. Miranda,M.A., andQuiroz,F.R., 1988,Vulcanismo alcalinobimodalasoci-
De Pablo-Galfin,L., G6mez-Caballero,A., and Rubinovich,R.E., 1986, Min- adoa la tect6nicade Cuencas y Sierrasen la regi6nde Magdalena de
eralog/a
y relaciones genticasdelahowlira deTubutama, Sonora: Revista Kino,Sonora,Mxicolabs.]:Sociedad Geo16gica Mexicana, Convenci6n
dela Sociedad Mexicana de MineralogfaBoletlnde Mineralogfa, v. 2, p. Geo16gicaNacional,9th, Mxico,D.F., October19-21, Resfimenes, p.
61-81 (in Spanish). 35 (in Spanish).
Ellis,A.J.,1979,Exploredgeothermal
systems,
in Barnes,H.L., ed.,Geo- Miranda-Gasca,M.A.,andDeJong,K.A.,1992,TheMagdalena mid-Tertiary
chemistry of hydrothermal
ore deposits,
2nd ed.: New York,Wiley,p. extensionalbasin,in Clark,K.F., Roldfin-Quintana,
J.,andSchmidt, R.H.,
632-683. eds.,Geology andmineralresources ofnorthernSierraMadreOccidental,
Foshag, W.F., 1921,The originof the colemanitc deposits
of California: Mexico:E1PasoGeological Society, FieldConference,September 18-
ECONOMIC GEOLOGY, v. 16, p. 199-214. 21, 1992,Guidebook, p. 377-384.
Friedman, I., andO'Neil,J.R.,1977,Compilation of stable
isotopefraction- Muessig,S.,1959,Primary borates in playadeposits:
Minerals ofhighhydra-
ationfactors of geochemicalinterest:U.S.GeologicalSurveyProfessional tion:ECONOMIC GEOLOGY, v. 54, p. 495-501.
Paper440-KK,12 p. Nourse,J.A.,1990,Tectonostratigraphic developmentandstrainhistoryof
Gat,J.R.,1981,Groundwater: Vienna,International
AtomicEnergyAgency the Magdalena metamorphic corecomplex, northernSonora: Arizona
Technical Report210,p. 223-240. Geological SurveySpecial Paper7, p. 155-164.
Gilmont,N.L., 1978,Geology of thePuertoLa Bandera area,Sonora,Mex- Palmer,M.R., and Helvaci,C., 1995,The boronisotopegeochemistry of
ico:Unpublished M.S.thesis,Flagstaff,University
of NorthernArizona, the Kirkaboratedeposit, western Turkey:Geochimica et Cosmochimica
109 p. Acta,v. 59, p. 3599-3605.
Gleason, J.D., 1994,Deuteriumcontentof waterfromwellsandperennial Robinson, B.W., andKusakabe, M., 1975,Quantitative preparation of SO2
springs, southeastern California:
U.S.Geological Survey HydrologicalIn- for Sa4S/a'2S
analyses fromsulfides by combustion withcuprous oxide:
vestigations AtlasHA-727. AnalyticalChemistry, v. 47, p. 1179-1181.
G6mez-Caballero, A., Nieto-Obreg6n,J.,Arriaga-Melndez, H., Cerecero- Roedder,E., 1984,Fluidinclusions: Reviews in Mineralogy,v. 12, 644p.
Luna,M.,andCarrillo-Ramrez, P.,1980,Estudio geo16gico deldep6sitoRoldfin-Quintana, J., andMcDowell,F.W., 1992,The BfiucaritFormation
deboratos delfireadeTubutama, Sonora:Consejo deRecursos Minerales, in theRioYaquiarea,Municipality ofOnavas, Sonora,
in Clark,K.F.,et al.,
Seminario internosobreexploraci6ngeo16gico-minera,8th,Mexico,D.F., eds.,Geology andmineralresources ofnorthern SierraMadreOccidental,
1980,p. 365-403 (in Spanish). Mexico:El PasoGeological Society,FieldConference, September 18-
G6mez-Caballero, A.,Nieto-Obreg6n,J.,Shafiqullah,
M.,Arriaga-Melndez, 21, 1992,Guidebook, p. 223-228.
H., Carrillo-Ramirez, P., and Cerecero-Luna,M., 1981, Miocene borax Smith,G.I., andMedrano,M.D., 1996,Continental boratedeposits of Ceno-
deposit in theTubutama area,northwestSonora, Mexicolabs. I: Geological zoicage:Reviews in Mineralogy, v. 33,p. 263-298.
Society of America AbstractswithPrograms, v. 13,p. 58. Taylor,H.P.,Jr.,1979,Oxygen andhydrogen isotoperelationships
in hydro-
Helvaci,C., 1995,Stratigraphy,
mineralogy,andgenesis oftheBigadig borate thermalmineraldeposits, in Barnes,H.L.,ed.,Geochemistry ofhydrother-
deposits, westernTurkey:ECONOMIC GEOLOGY, v. 90, p. 1237--1260. maloredeposits, 2nded.:NewYork,Wiley,p. 173-235.

View publication stats