The correlation between dike density and regional‐scale mineralization indicates a fundamental criterion for ore‐forming process. Here, a novel dike distribution density method is formulated for evaluating this correlation and exploring mine targets quantitatively. Three parameters (dike density, dike orientation scatter degree and dike fractal dimension) are proposed to express the degree of irregularity and complexity of dike distribution patterns. This method is applied to the South Alatao Mountains area (China), where the dike swarms show regionally well‐developed density gradients and the mineral deposits are spatially associated with abundant dike swarms. On the basis of this quantitative dike distribution density method, 60% of the deposit targets are delineated in this area. This result indicates that the method is an effective quantification tool for prospecting mine targets. The dike distribution density method is applicable for areas where abundant regional‐scale dike swarms and mineralization occur. It should be considered as an effective and complimentary technique for the common mine prospectivity analysis.
Sulfur is an abundant element in the cosmos and it is thus an important contributor to astrochemistry in the interstellar medium and in the Solar System….
A warming climate is not just melting the Arctic’s sea ice; it is stirring the remaining ice faster, increasing the odds that ice-rafted pollution will foul a neighboring country’s waters, says a new study. The new study, which maps the movement of sea ice in the region, underscores the risk of contaminated sea ice drifting from the economic zone of one country to another’s.
The week in science: 16–22 June 2017.
From the east of the Xuefengshan tectonic zone (XTZ) to the Pacific coast of the South China Block, there exist widespread Mesozoic magmatic rocks, which attract a great deal of attention for their forming mechanism and evolutional history. Among them, the Mesozoic Jishou diabase located at the west of the XTZ is reported in this study. Based on our geochronologic analysis, the diabase has a U–Pb age of 134 ± 2.3 Ma. The diabase belongs to calc‐alkaline series in a SiO2‐K2O diagram and illustrates significant enrichment in light rare earth elements and flat heavy rare earth elements without obvious Eu anomalies. Meanwhile, the diabase has negative εHf(t) and εNd(t) values and higher radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr(t) ratios, suggestive of EM2‐like Sr‐Nd isotopic compositions. The diabase shows high variations in 207Pb/204Pb(t; 15.609–15.671), 206Pb/204Pb(t; 17.943–18.742), and 208Pb/204Pb(t; 38.268–39.302). It is suggested that the Jishou diabase may be generated from the lithospheric mantle in response to the decompression melting accompanied by lithospheric extension during Pacific subduction process. During the Early Cretaceous (145–120 Ma), the upwelling and melting of the mantle occurred under the XTZ, causing intraplate Jishou diabase magma. Subsequently, the significantly descending of the subducted Paleo‐Pacific slab led progressively eastward generation and migration of subduction‐related magmas, resulting in a widespread distribution of igneous rocks in the Cathaysia Block.
Xishan coalfield, Shanxi, is located in the northwest of the Qinshui Basin, central North China. It is notable for its varieties of coal rank ranging from high volatile bituminous coals to anthracite as well as having abundant coalbed methane resources. Zircon fission track (ZFT) analyses were carried out on the zircons in 2 Upper Carboniferous and 5 Lower‐Middle Permian sandstones, and vitrinite reflectance of Late Carboniferous and Early Permian coals were measured to determine the timing of thermal events and maximum paleo‐temperatures, which were responsible for coal maturation and coalbed methane generation. Maximum paleo‐temperatures calculated from vitrinite reflectance values reached to about 232 and 223 °C in Late Carboniferous and Early Permian coals, respectively, and the estimated paleo‐temperature gradient was 11.84 °C/100 m, representing an intensive abnormal thermal event. Results of the ZFT dating indicated that 5 samples failed the χ2‐test and 2 samples passed the test. The decomposition results of the 5 samples divided their age populations into 3 periods: (a) older ages (537, 584, and 802 Ma) than sandstones ages, (b) close to or slightly older than their depositional ages (289, 301, and 331 Ma), and (c) younger than the depositional ages (181–215). The 2 samples that passed χ2‐test yield the central ages of 168 ± 7 Ma and 190 ± 8 Ma, respectively, younger than the deposition age. The close to or older ages than the sandstones depositional ages represent the tectonothermal events occurring in their source areas; the younger ages indicate the existence of the postdepositional tectonothermal event. The agreement of the partly annealing temperature zone (210–300 °C) of zircon fission tracks with the calculated maximum paleo‐temperatures from vitrinite reflectance suggests a Late Triassic‐Early Jurassic abnormal thermal event with the formation time of the present coal rank being 181–215 Ma, rather than a unique intrusion at 95–135 Ma on the western margin of coalfield as previously believed. Combined with other ZFT ages regionally, this abnormal event also occurred in the southern as well as the northern parts of the Qinshui Basin. The Late Triassic‐Early Jurassic intensive extension in the North China Craton is the geodynamic setting of this tectonothermal event.
ALMA has observed stars like the Sun at a very early stage in their formation and found traces of methyl isocyanate — a chemical building block of life….
Emission of fullerenes in their infrared vibrational bands has been detected in space near hot stars….
Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to ShakeAlert puts the west coast at risk.