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On the Structural Fabric of Victoria and its Relationship to Metal Distribution


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Author Cozens B
ID P198601067


The structural pattern of Victoria shows the presence of EW, NW, NE as well as the more readily recognised NNW factors commonly associated with the goldfields. ENE and WNW trends are also present. This structural lattice affects all rocks of the State. Landsat imagery shows that the EW, NW and NE structural elements are closely related spatially to the distribution of Palaeozoic igneous intrusives, Cainozoic volcanic vents as well as all historically important gold mines. It is suggested that the EW, NW and NE structural grid visible on landsat imagery is a reflection of the structure of a mid-crustal layer situated between 3.5 and 17 kms below the surface. The points of intersection of the structural elements of the mid-crustal layer offer most favourable loci for the escape of energy in the form of heat. The correlation between the distribution of igneous plutons, volcanic vents and centres of mineralisation, all reliant on high levels of energy for their formation, indicates the stability of the structures of the mid-crustal layer since early Palaeozoic times. The deep level crustal structures are believed to be, related to the release of stresses placed on the crust since early Palaeozoic times by the rotation of the Earth. A geological model that accommodates the presence of a mid-crustal layer as well as the complexities of the recognised orogenic cycles of southeast Australia is suggested. All 1 000 kg Au reef and deep lead mines fall within 1.5 and 2.5 km respectively of strong linears associated intimately with plutons and volcanic vents. Future exploration of the State is more likely to meet with success if it too is confined to the evaluation of these and similar linears. The mode of mineralisation of any one centre will depend upon the temperature, pressure and geochemical gradients operating on the migrating mineralising fluids as well as the structures in the host rocks. These factors are likely to have varied considerably from one centre of mineralisation to the next and consistency of mineral isation form and depth should not be expected along the length of any single Linear.