Mineral Deposits and Chalcogen Gases

Martin Hale
International Institute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences, Kanaalweg 3, Delft, Netherlands

Abstract: Sulphide minerals and their analogues yield gases as a result of oxidation reactions. Even where sulphide minerals are in contact with mildly reducing groundwaters, S2− ions pass into solution and their dispersion patterns can be detected in soil as acid-released H2S. In more oxidising conditions, the metastable gases COS and CS2 are generated. Anomalous dispersion patterns of COS have been reported in soils above more than ten sulphide ore deposits, many of them concealed beneath transported exotic overburden. High concentrations of CS2 occur in the soils over several of the same deposits and uniquely reflect others. Anomalies of SO2 over sulphide deposits are confined to arid terrains. Certain anomalous dispersion patterns of arsenic and tellurium in soils are attributed to the generation and migration of unspecified gases from the oxidation of arsenide and telluride minerals.

Keywords: chalcogen gases • sulphide minerals • oxidation • arsenic • tellurium

Mineralogical Magazine; December 1993 v. 57; no. 389; p. 599-606; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1993.057.389.04
© 1993, The Mineralogical Society
Mineralogical Society (www.minersoc.org)