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Structural Geologic Controls at the San Luis Mines, Tayoltita, Durango, Mexico
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- Structural Geologic Controls at the San Luis Mines, Tayoltita, Durango, Mexico
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- In the San Dimas district, on the western flank of the Sierra Madre Occidental, near the small town of Tayoltita, Durango, gold and silver epithermal ore deposits are mined from the complex Arana fault system. The structural relationships of the Tayoltita system are well-mapped, but their kinematic relationship to ore deposition is unclear. In plan view and in cross-section, the Arana system has a horsetail or wedge-shaped geometry. Subsurface mapping of slickenside striae as movement indicators suggest that the N13°W-striking Arana fault, forming the eastern boundary of the system, is a normal slip fault with at least 250 m of throw. Subsidiary system faults display normal separation with varying degrees of dextral horizontal separation (which is a function of fault orientation). Experimental modeling of the Arana system indicated that the system formed under simple shear as the σ₂ and σ₃ stress axes rotated in a subhorizontal plane about σ₁. Rotational strain caused the developing fault strands to rotate and to be captured by the Arana fault, forming the typical wedge-shaped geometry. Later, a more complex rotation of the three major stress axes enabled hydrothermal fluids to progressively mineralize faults, which had more northerly strikes, by a process similar to progressive strain. This is documented by mineral assemblages that record the instants of fault opening and by the lack of mineralization along the high-angle, northwest- striking faults.
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- University of Arizona
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- Davis, George H.
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