Zebra rocks: compaction waves create ore deposits.

TitleZebra rocks: compaction waves create ore deposits.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsU Kelka, M Veveakis, D Koehn, and N Beaudoin
JournalScientific Reports
Start Page14260
Date Published10/2017

Nature has a range of distinct mechanisms that cause initially heterogeneous systems to break their symmetry and form patterns. One of these patterns is zebra dolomite that is frequently hosting economically important base metal mineralization. A consistent generic model for the genesis of these periodically banded rocks is still lacking. In this contribution, we present for the first time a fully consistent mathematical model for the genesis of the pattern by coupling the reactive fluid-solid system with hydromechanics. We show that visual banding develops at a given stress and host-rock permeability indicating that the wavelength and occurrence of the pattern may be predictable for natural settings. This finding offers the exciting possibility of estimating conditions of formation of known deposits as well as forecasting potential exploration targets.

Short TitleScientific Reports