Geological context and origin of the mineralization of the historic and prehistoric iron mines in the Gavà area, Catalonia, NE Iberian Peninsula

Yael Díaz-Acha, Marc Campeny, Joan Carles Melgarejo, Josep Bosch, Saleh Lehbib, Lisard Torró, Joaquín A. Proenza, Montgarri Castillo-Oliver, Antoni Camprubí, Cristina Villanova-de-Benavent, Aleu Andreazini, Míriam Pastor, Núria Pujol-Solà, Sandra Amores, Jingyao Xu, Júlia Farré

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Mining for iron resources in the Gavà area of Catalonia occurred intermittently during the Iberian and Roman epochs, the Middle Ages, and continuing until the industrial era, as evidenced by historical and archaeological documents. Iron mining in this area could have occurred even earlier, during the Neolithic period. Iron ores were formed in two stages: (1) a regional hydrothermal alteration associated with Hercynian thrusts that produced the ankeritization of limestones within the Paleozoic series, and (2) the karstic replacement of these iron-rich carbonates during the Pliocene and Quaternary by means of supergenic fluids that produced ochres with goethite and hematite. The style of mineralization largely depends on the characteristics of the replaced protolith, and three styles of mineralization can be defined: (1)The supergenic replacement of ankeritized massive Pridolian limestones only produced local replacements that were restricted to structural or stratigraphic discontinuities, therefore, the mineralization has reduced dimensions and occurs as irregular veinlets or pipes; (2) The replacement of interbedded ankeritized limestones and pyrite-bearing shales (Lockovian) produced massive ores in podshaped bodies rich in silica impurities derived from the altered shales; and (3) The replacement of carbonates overthrust by pyrite- and phosphate-rich shales favored the formation of massive stratabound deposits, which are the largest and highest grade deposits in the study area, and may be locally enriched in minerals of the alunite supergroup and Ca- and Fe-rich phosphates. Outcrops of all of these styles of mineralization were mined by the Iberian cultures, during the roman period and in the Middle Ages, taking advantage of the relatively high metallurgical quality of the ores.Therefore, the exploitation during these epochs was artisanal by means of trenches or small pits. In contrast, during the industrial era only the massive stratabound deposits were exploited in open pits and underground galleries.

LanguageEnglish
Pages321-342
Number of pages22
JournalBoletin de la Sociedad Geologica Mexicana
Volume71
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Fingerprint

replacement
mineralization
iron
stratabound deposit
Middle Ages
limestone
pyrite
Pridolian
phosphate
carbonate
alunite
hydrothermal alteration
iron ore
protolith
goethite
hematite
trench
discontinuity
Pliocene
outcrop

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • iron mining
  • karst
  • supergenic
  • phosphates
  • alunite
  • Iberian culture

Cite this

Díaz-Acha, Yael ; Campeny, Marc ; Melgarejo, Joan Carles ; Bosch, Josep ; Lehbib, Saleh ; Torró, Lisard ; Proenza, Joaquín A. ; Castillo-Oliver, Montgarri ; Camprubí, Antoni ; Villanova-de-Benavent, Cristina ; Andreazini, Aleu ; Pastor, Míriam ; Pujol-Solà, Núria ; Amores, Sandra ; Xu, Jingyao ; Farré, Júlia. / Geological context and origin of the mineralization of the historic and prehistoric iron mines in the Gavà area, Catalonia, NE Iberian Peninsula. In: Boletin de la Sociedad Geologica Mexicana. 2019 ; Vol. 71, No. 2. pp. 321-342.
@article{6373d82b475945e98ee1c451025fa0d8,
title = "Geological context and origin of the mineralization of the historic and prehistoric iron mines in the Gav{\`a} area, Catalonia, NE Iberian Peninsula",
abstract = "Mining for iron resources in the Gav{\`a} area of Catalonia occurred intermittently during the Iberian and Roman epochs, the Middle Ages, and continuing until the industrial era, as evidenced by historical and archaeological documents. Iron mining in this area could have occurred even earlier, during the Neolithic period. Iron ores were formed in two stages: (1) a regional hydrothermal alteration associated with Hercynian thrusts that produced the ankeritization of limestones within the Paleozoic series, and (2) the karstic replacement of these iron-rich carbonates during the Pliocene and Quaternary by means of supergenic fluids that produced ochres with goethite and hematite. The style of mineralization largely depends on the characteristics of the replaced protolith, and three styles of mineralization can be defined: (1)The supergenic replacement of ankeritized massive Pridolian limestones only produced local replacements that were restricted to structural or stratigraphic discontinuities, therefore, the mineralization has reduced dimensions and occurs as irregular veinlets or pipes; (2) The replacement of interbedded ankeritized limestones and pyrite-bearing shales (Lockovian) produced massive ores in podshaped bodies rich in silica impurities derived from the altered shales; and (3) The replacement of carbonates overthrust by pyrite- and phosphate-rich shales favored the formation of massive stratabound deposits, which are the largest and highest grade deposits in the study area, and may be locally enriched in minerals of the alunite supergroup and Ca- and Fe-rich phosphates. Outcrops of all of these styles of mineralization were mined by the Iberian cultures, during the roman period and in the Middle Ages, taking advantage of the relatively high metallurgical quality of the ores.Therefore, the exploitation during these epochs was artisanal by means of trenches or small pits. In contrast, during the industrial era only the massive stratabound deposits were exploited in open pits and underground galleries.",
keywords = "iron mining, karst, supergenic, phosphates, alunite, Iberian culture",
author = "Yael D{\'i}az-Acha and Marc Campeny and Melgarejo, {Joan Carles} and Josep Bosch and Saleh Lehbib and Lisard Torr{\'o} and Proenza, {Joaqu{\'i}n A.} and Montgarri Castillo-Oliver and Antoni Camprub{\'i} and Cristina Villanova-de-Benavent and Aleu Andreazini and M{\'i}riam Pastor and N{\'u}ria Pujol-Sol{\`a} and Sandra Amores and Jingyao Xu and J{\'u}lia Farr{\'e}",
note = "Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.18268/BSGM2019v71n2a6",
language = "English",
volume = "71",
pages = "321--342",
journal = "Boletin de la Sociedad Geologica Mexicana",
issn = "1405-3322",
publisher = "Sociedad Geologica Mexicana",
number = "2",

}

Díaz-Acha, Y, Campeny, M, Melgarejo, JC, Bosch, J, Lehbib, S, Torró, L, Proenza, JA, Castillo-Oliver, M, Camprubí, A, Villanova-de-Benavent, C, Andreazini, A, Pastor, M, Pujol-Solà, N, Amores, S, Xu, J & Farré, J 2019, 'Geological context and origin of the mineralization of the historic and prehistoric iron mines in the Gavà area, Catalonia, NE Iberian Peninsula', Boletin de la Sociedad Geologica Mexicana, vol. 71, no. 2, pp. 321-342. https://doi.org/10.18268/BSGM2019v71n2a6

Geological context and origin of the mineralization of the historic and prehistoric iron mines in the Gavà area, Catalonia, NE Iberian Peninsula. / Díaz-Acha, Yael; Campeny, Marc; Melgarejo, Joan Carles; Bosch, Josep; Lehbib, Saleh; Torró, Lisard; Proenza, Joaquín A.; Castillo-Oliver, Montgarri; Camprubí, Antoni; Villanova-de-Benavent, Cristina; Andreazini, Aleu; Pastor, Míriam; Pujol-Solà, Núria; Amores, Sandra; Xu, Jingyao; Farré, Júlia.

In: Boletin de la Sociedad Geologica Mexicana, Vol. 71, No. 2, 2019, p. 321-342.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Geological context and origin of the mineralization of the historic and prehistoric iron mines in the Gavà area, Catalonia, NE Iberian Peninsula

AU - Díaz-Acha, Yael

AU - Campeny, Marc

AU - Melgarejo, Joan Carles

AU - Bosch, Josep

AU - Lehbib, Saleh

AU - Torró, Lisard

AU - Proenza, Joaquín A.

AU - Castillo-Oliver, Montgarri

AU - Camprubí, Antoni

AU - Villanova-de-Benavent, Cristina

AU - Andreazini, Aleu

AU - Pastor, Míriam

AU - Pujol-Solà, Núria

AU - Amores, Sandra

AU - Xu, Jingyao

AU - Farré, Júlia

N1 - Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Mining for iron resources in the Gavà area of Catalonia occurred intermittently during the Iberian and Roman epochs, the Middle Ages, and continuing until the industrial era, as evidenced by historical and archaeological documents. Iron mining in this area could have occurred even earlier, during the Neolithic period. Iron ores were formed in two stages: (1) a regional hydrothermal alteration associated with Hercynian thrusts that produced the ankeritization of limestones within the Paleozoic series, and (2) the karstic replacement of these iron-rich carbonates during the Pliocene and Quaternary by means of supergenic fluids that produced ochres with goethite and hematite. The style of mineralization largely depends on the characteristics of the replaced protolith, and three styles of mineralization can be defined: (1)The supergenic replacement of ankeritized massive Pridolian limestones only produced local replacements that were restricted to structural or stratigraphic discontinuities, therefore, the mineralization has reduced dimensions and occurs as irregular veinlets or pipes; (2) The replacement of interbedded ankeritized limestones and pyrite-bearing shales (Lockovian) produced massive ores in podshaped bodies rich in silica impurities derived from the altered shales; and (3) The replacement of carbonates overthrust by pyrite- and phosphate-rich shales favored the formation of massive stratabound deposits, which are the largest and highest grade deposits in the study area, and may be locally enriched in minerals of the alunite supergroup and Ca- and Fe-rich phosphates. Outcrops of all of these styles of mineralization were mined by the Iberian cultures, during the roman period and in the Middle Ages, taking advantage of the relatively high metallurgical quality of the ores.Therefore, the exploitation during these epochs was artisanal by means of trenches or small pits. In contrast, during the industrial era only the massive stratabound deposits were exploited in open pits and underground galleries.

AB - Mining for iron resources in the Gavà area of Catalonia occurred intermittently during the Iberian and Roman epochs, the Middle Ages, and continuing until the industrial era, as evidenced by historical and archaeological documents. Iron mining in this area could have occurred even earlier, during the Neolithic period. Iron ores were formed in two stages: (1) a regional hydrothermal alteration associated with Hercynian thrusts that produced the ankeritization of limestones within the Paleozoic series, and (2) the karstic replacement of these iron-rich carbonates during the Pliocene and Quaternary by means of supergenic fluids that produced ochres with goethite and hematite. The style of mineralization largely depends on the characteristics of the replaced protolith, and three styles of mineralization can be defined: (1)The supergenic replacement of ankeritized massive Pridolian limestones only produced local replacements that were restricted to structural or stratigraphic discontinuities, therefore, the mineralization has reduced dimensions and occurs as irregular veinlets or pipes; (2) The replacement of interbedded ankeritized limestones and pyrite-bearing shales (Lockovian) produced massive ores in podshaped bodies rich in silica impurities derived from the altered shales; and (3) The replacement of carbonates overthrust by pyrite- and phosphate-rich shales favored the formation of massive stratabound deposits, which are the largest and highest grade deposits in the study area, and may be locally enriched in minerals of the alunite supergroup and Ca- and Fe-rich phosphates. Outcrops of all of these styles of mineralization were mined by the Iberian cultures, during the roman period and in the Middle Ages, taking advantage of the relatively high metallurgical quality of the ores.Therefore, the exploitation during these epochs was artisanal by means of trenches or small pits. In contrast, during the industrial era only the massive stratabound deposits were exploited in open pits and underground galleries.

KW - iron mining

KW - karst

KW - supergenic

KW - phosphates

KW - alunite

KW - Iberian culture

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85066973591&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://boletinsgm.igeolcu.unam.mx/bsgm/index.php/declaratorias-statements

U2 - 10.18268/BSGM2019v71n2a6

DO - 10.18268/BSGM2019v71n2a6

M3 - Article

VL - 71

SP - 321

EP - 342

JO - Boletin de la Sociedad Geologica Mexicana

T2 - Boletin de la Sociedad Geologica Mexicana

JF - Boletin de la Sociedad Geologica Mexicana

SN - 1405-3322

IS - 2

ER -