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Formation of Mississippi Valley–type deposits linked to hydrocarbon generation in extensional tectonic settings: Evidence from the Jabali Zn-Pb-(Ag) deposit (Yemen)


Jörg Ostendorf1, Friedhelm Henjes-Kunst2, Nicola Mondillo3, Maria Boni3,

Jens Schneider1, Jens Gutzmer1,4

1 Department of Mineralogy, Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg D-09599, Germany
2 Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Hannover D-30655, Germany
3 Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell’Ambiente e delle Risorse, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples 80134, Italy
4 Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, Freiberg D-09599, Germany
GEOLOGY, December 2015; v. 43; no. 12; p. 1055–1058
Mississippi Valley–type (MVT) Zn-Pb deposits are widely believed to form in compressional tectonic environments, related to gravity-driven fluid flow. They are commonly spatially related to hydrocarbon reservoirs in orogenic foreland settings, but the genetic and temporal links between hydrothermal sulfide mineralization, basin evolution, and hydrocarbon generation remain tentative in most cases. We used direct Rb-Sr chronometry of sphalerite to constrain the age of the Jabali (central Yemen) MVT deposit, which is located in the well-studied oil-producing Sab´atayn Basin. A Rb-Sr age of 144.0±4.3 Ma for sulfide mineralization obtained from a quantitative geochronological two-component paleomixing model coincides with a well-constrained episode of active rifting, oil generation, and expulsion in the Sab´atayn Basin during the Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous.