Hydrothermal alteration related to silver mineralization at the iwami silver deposit, shimane prefecture, Japan

Nanshi Zeng, Eiji Izawa, Koichiro Watanabe, Yoshinobu Motomura

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The Iwami epithermal silver deposit consists of Ag-Cu veins in a dacitic intrusive body at the deep portion of the Eikyu area, and veinlets with disseminated Ag mineralization in dacitic tuff breccia at a shallow portion of the Fukuishi area. Hydrothermal alteration associated with the silver mineralization is characterized by intense potassium metasomatism with oxidizing conditions. An illite zone occurs around the pathways of uprising fluids in both the Eikyu and Fukuishi areas. It grades laterally into the illite/smectite zone, which is surrounded by a broad smectite zone. Because of boiling, abundant adularia associated with silver mineralization overlaps on the altered tuff breccia in the Fukuishi area. The alteration zoning suggests that the western Eikyu area and the eastern Fukuishi area belong to a single hydrothermal system. The data of fluid inclusion microthermometry indicate that the temperatures range 220-270°C, and salinities range 5-7 wt percent NaCl equivalent for the silver mineralization at the upper portion in the Eikyu area and the lower portion in the Fukuishi area. Radiometric ages for volcanic rocks in the area range from 2.19 to 1.64 Ma, and the dacitic intrusion formed at approximately 1.6 Ma. The silver-dominant mineralizing hydrothermal fluids system was active around 1.44 to 1.07 Ma, which formed the Eikyu Ag-Cu veins at depth, and the Fukuishi Ag ores at the shallower portion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-248
Number of pages15
JournalResource Geology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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