The Investigation on Fibrous Veins and Their Host from Mt. Ida, Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas



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Texas A&M University


I have studied syntectonic veins from shales and coarse calcareous sands of the Ordovician Womble Shale, Benton uplift, Arkansas. All veins are composed of calcite with minor quartz and trace feldspar and dolomite or high-Mg calcite in the coarser veins. All host lithologies have a pressure-solution cleavage, more closely spaced in the fine-grained shale beds. The vein internal fabrics are coarsely to finely fibered, with a strong host-rock grain size control on fiber width. The finest fibers are in veins with shale host and the coarsest in the coarse-grained calcareous sandstone. Fiber aspect ratio is inversely proportional to host grain size; more equant vein grains are found in the veins hosted in the coarse host fraction. Within one outcrop, the ?13C and ?18O compositions of the host lithologies range from 1.5 to -3.0 per mil and 7.5 to -14.0 per mil (VPDB), respectively. By contrast, the ?18O composition of the veins is remarkably constant (-13.5 per mil) among veins of starkly different fabrics. This composition is identical to that of the coarse calcareous sandstone lithology in the outcrop. No cathodoluminescence or stable isotope zoning was observed in the veins. In addition, there were no gradients in Ca or Si in the vicinity of the veins, suggesting either that the host did not contribute these elements or that diffusion was not the rate-limiting step to vein formation. In any case, the wide variety of veins was probably formed from meter-scale migration of fluid derived from local calcite-rich layers in calcareous sandstone.