Nico Enciso ’19 uses PXRF to Study of the K-Metasomatism in the Bachelor Paleochannel, Creede Colorado
Nico Enciso is a December 2019 graduate. For his senior thesis, Nico used pXRF to study K metasomatism in the Bachelor Paleochannel, which cuts the wall of the Creede Caldera.
K-metasomatism is an alteration style that occurs in hydrodynamic settings in which fluids flow through rocks and change their composition. This can take place in a variety of settings including epithermal ore systems, playa settings in extensional regions in arid environments, and upper plates of detachment faults.
The Creede mining district hosts epithermal Ag-Pb-Zn deposits located along faults in the Bachelor Caldera near Creede Colorado. The district has produced approximately 2,400 metric tons of silver, along with lead, zinc, copper, and gold. K metasomatism has affected ~65 km2 of the Bachelor Caldera and surrounding rocks that make up the present day wall rocks of the later Creede Caldera. The metasomatism has been interpreted as forming as part of the Creede Ore deposit and alternatively as an earlier, pre-ore alteration. The area offers a good location to study the effects of K metasomatism in an ore related setting.
Nico’s goal in this study is to use pXRF to study K metasomatism in the Bachelor Paleochannel, which cuts the wall of the Creede Caldera. The Paleochannel is the place where the ore fluids drain into the Creede Caldera Lake. Determining the nature of K metasomatism and possible mineralization in the Paleochannel will constrain the possible timing of K metasomatism in the Creede area.