Applied mineral exploration methods, hydrothermal fluids, baro-acoustic decrepitation, CO2 rich fluids
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New model 216 decreptiometer

Exploration of the Mt. Boppy Au deposit, NSW

Forensic tests on soil samples


Do IOCG deposits form from CO2 fluids?

How CO2 inclusions form from aqueous fluids (UPDATED)

Understanding heterogeneous fluids : why gold is not transported in CO2-only fluids

Gold-quartz deposits form from aqueous - CO2 fluids: NOT from CO2-only fluids

Discussions why H2 analysis by mass spectrometry is wrong


Gold at Okote, Ethiopia

Kalgoorlie Au data

Sangan skarn Fe deposits, Iran

Studies of 6 Pegmatite deposits

A study of the Gejiu tin mine, China

Exploration using palaeo-hydrothermal fluids

Using opaque minerals to understand ore fluids

Understanding baro-acoustic decrepitation.

An introduction to fluid inclusions and mineral exploration applications.

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Calculation of phase visibility at room temperature of carbonic inclusions trapped at 1Kbar and 200C

(As in the example discussed)

In the example discussed:
A carbonic inclusion derived from a parent homogenous fluid with X - CO2 of 0.1 ( X - H2O of 0.9) at 1Kbar pressure and which is trapped at 200 C (the right hand side red cross in the solvus diagram) would have X - CO2 of 0.92 (with 0% salinity.)
This is a single carbonic phase when trapped, but when cooled to 100 C this would separate into 2 immiscible phases within the fluid inclusion These 2 fluid components will have X - CO2 compositions of 0.97 and 0.04  (The intersections of the solvus with the 100 C axis). In theory you might expect to see this as a vapour-rich 2 phase fluid inclusion with a small liquid phase. But the liquid phase is so small, as calculated here, that it will be invisible.

The lever rule is used to determine the volume ratios of these two components which will exist within cooled the fluid inclusion.

The aqueous phase proportion will  be:         (0.97 - 0.92) / (0.97 - 0.04) =  0.05/0.93   =  0.054

The carbonic phase proportion will be:         (0.92 - 0.04) / (0.97 - 0.04)  =  0.88/0.93   =  0.946

In a spherical fluid inclusion, this small 5% quantity of aqueous phase will be invisible and the inclusion will appear to contain just a single phase carbonic fluid. Despite actually forming from a 90% aqueous fluid.
Any salinity in the system would further reduce the visibility of the aqueous phase.

This image from Professor P. Brown's lecture notes shows that a volume % of 75% gas in a spherical inclusion (bottom right) gives a barely visible liquid phase. (the gas bubble is black in this diagram)
With a volume % of 95% CO2 as calculated above the 5% liquid phase would not be visible at all.  Microscope observations will be more difficult than shown in this careful diagram because of the substantial refractive index changes between the fluid phases and the quartz.

volume estimation of fluid inclusion

This image shows an inclusion outline in blue with a 95% volume spherical gas bubble in yellow. The barely visible blue ring represents the aqueous liquid phase of 5% and would be essentially invisible under the microscope as the overall inclusion size would be far smaller visually and the refractive index difference would also blur and conceal the boundary between the quartz host and the fluid filling the inclusion. This inclusion would appear to be purely CO2 filled although it could be a product of heterogeneous trapping from a fluid which had as little as 5% CO2 with 95% H2O, which separated  and was trapped at 200 C at the red star on the carbonic side of the solvus curve in the example shown.

95% sperical volume is not really visible

When viewed at a temperature of less than 31.5 C (the critical point temperature of CO2)  this inclusion will have a liquid CO2 phase with a super critical CO2 gas bubble as the pressure is above the critical pressure of the CO2. The immiscible, heterogeneous aqueous liquid phase will still be imperceptible.

Back to explanation of carbonic inclusions page