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Regional geochemical and geophysical surveys in the Berwyn Dome and adjacent areas, north Wales

By D.C. Cooper, K. Rollin and J.D. Cornwell

Abstract

This report describes stream sediment and gravity\ud surveys carried out across the Berwyn Dome and adjacent\ud areas. The gravity survey confirmed the presence of a\ud broad regional Bouguer anomaly low in the central part of\ud the Dome, on which is superimposed several smaller irregular\ud highs and lows. Some of these local anomalies\ud possibly reflect small igneous bodies but more detailed\ud gravity surveys would be needed to determine their form.\ud Near Corwen the Bryneglwys Fault coincides with a 4.5\ud mGa1 anomaly but southwards the two features diverge,\ud suggesting that the density interface is related either to a\ud splay fault or to the eastern margin of the Lower\ud Palaeozoic Montgomery trough. Some other structural\ud trends are weakly reflected on the Bouguer anomaly and\ud aeromagnetic maps, but there is no clear correlation with\ud known base metal mineralisation. The Bouguer\ud anomalies cannot be attributed to particular structures\ud with any certainty but are probably due to a number of\ud factors, including variation in the Precambrian basement\ud and changes in the lithology and thickness of Lower\ud Palaeozoic sedimentary rocks. There is no evidence for a\ud large granitic body in Lower Palaeozoic rocks underlying\ud the mineralisation at Llangynog. The aeromagnetic map\ud suggests the presence of a magnetic basement at a depth\ud of 3-4 km centred beneath the northwestern margin of\ud the Dome.\ud The stream sediment survey involved the collection of a\ud - 100 mesh stream sediment, panned concentrate and\ud water sample from each of the 399 sites sampled. The\ud sample density was 1 site per 1.5 km*. Cu, Pb, Zn, Ba,\ud Fe, Mn, Co, V, Cr, Ni, Zr, MO and Sn were determined\ud in the stream sediments, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ba, Fe, Mn, Ce,\ud Sn, Sb, Ti, Ni and As in the panned concentrates and Cu,\ud Pb and Zn in stream waters. Major variations in the\ud results are related to (i) hydrous oxide precipitation processes,\ud (ii) contamination from human activities, (iii) base\ud metal and baryte mineralisation, (iv) monazite concentrations\ud in panned concentrates, (v) hitherto unrecorded\ud gold mineralisation and (vi) lithological variations. The\ud latter were related principally to shale-sandstone variation,\ud but groups of elements attributable to the presence\ud of basic intrusions, phosphatic rocks, coal measures,\ud sandstones, limestones and volcanics were also discerned.\ud Threshold levels were established from cumulative frequency\ud curve analysis, and some anomalous sites were examined\ud in the field. Anomalies did not form prominent\ud coherent groups and were generally weak and scattered,\ud with a wide variety of element groupings reflecting a\ud range of causes. Many anomalous panned concentrates\ud were examined mineralogically to try to . determine\ud whether anomalies were related to chemically extreme\ud background lithologies, contamination, or mineralisation.\ud All the anomalies were related to one or more of the\ud major causes of variation, although because of the very\ud limited amount of follow-up work carried out the precise\ud cause of many anomalies remains uncertain. No anomaly\ud is considered to represent a strong prospect but several\ud deserve further limited investigation, notably those\ud associated with (i) gold mineralisation in the northwest of\ud the area, (ii) baryte, perhaps accompanied by base metal\ud ’ mineralisation, associated with Caradocian volcanics and\ud phosphatic rocks at several localities, (iii) mineralisation\ud associated with Llandeilian limestones and volcanic rocks\ud north of Llanrhaeadr, and (iv) copper mineralisation\ud associated with intrusives near the eastern margin of the\ud Dome, where survey data is most incomplete

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: British Geological Survey
Year: 1984
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:11633

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