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Sixty-five core tests at Hockley salt dome, Harris County, Texas, indicate an annular zone of iron, zinc, lead, and silver sulfides around the perimeter of the cap rock in cumulative concentrations from trace amounts to over 50% total sulfides. Barite has been identified in concentrations exceeding 60%. The textures within and the geometry of the mineralized zone suggest rapid precipitation in a highly reducing, tectonically active environment.
Petrographic, isotopic, trace element, hydrocarbon, and biological information supports origin of the deposit through a complex evolutionary system involving halokinesis; cap rock development and diagenesis; and the generation, migration, and accumulation of hydrocarbons and associated brines. Existing information indicates that at least 13 other Gulf Coast salt domes host metallic sulfide deposits containing zinc and/or lead as a result of similar processes.
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