Geology and mineralogy of massive sulfide ores from the central Okinawa trough, Japan

Peter Halbach*, Bernhard Pracejus, Andreas Marten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Citations (Scopus)


Massive sulfide ores were collected from active and inactive vents and smokers and from mounds of the hydrothermal Jade field in the central Okinawa trough (Japan), which is a tectonically active intracontinental back-arc basin located in the northwestern Pacific. The Jade field occurs at a site where the tip of a marine graben segment is thought to be influenced by an obliquely striking shear zone. Small faults in the resulting Izena basin present the paths for circulating hydrothermal solutions discharged at the Jade field. The ores forming from these fluids can be chemically characterized by their respective major components as follows: (1) Zn-Pb rich, (2) Ba-Zn-Pb rich, (3) Zn-Cu rich, (4) Fe-rich replacements, and (5) Zn-Pb-rich impregnations of felsic volcanics. Ore types 1, 2, and 4 originate from chimneys, whereas 3 was collected as large slabs from mounds. Some ore samples show high concentrations of Au (up to 24 ppm) and Ag (up to 1.1%). Mineralogically and texturally, the ores show distinctive differences, even if the overall chemistry is comparable (such as that for 1 and 5). Strong similarities, both geochemically and mineralogically, are found between these ore samples and kuroko-type massive sulfide ores. However, the formation of the Jade deposit is as yet incomplete and at an immature stage. This presents the unique opportunity to examine a modern analogue of an ancient deposit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2210-2225
Number of pages16
JournalEconomic Geology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Economic Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'Geology and mineralogy of massive sulfide ores from the central Okinawa trough, Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this