Purpose. The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the peculiarities of the spatial distribution of thickness and paleorelief of continental flood basalts of Luchychi stratum of Ratne suite of the Ediacaran of the Ratne–Kamin-Kashyrskyi Area in Western Volyn using maps of the thickness and relief of the paleosurface. The study also focuses on correlation between the specified parameters of the stratum and the spatial change of concentrations of native mineralization and its localization relative to the roof (sole) of the stratum. Method. The research applies a number of methods, including field geological surveys; petrography of basalts, structural features (degree of crystallization of mesostasis, structural position of minerals and, in particular, copper, ratio of globular formations and minerals that surround them, relationship between globules), macro- and microtextural features of rocks; geochemical research: determination of the content of the main chemical components of the rocks by the method of gross chemical analysis and copper content; geological and morphostructural studies: construction of a map of paleorelief and thickness of continental flood basalt of the Luchichiv stratum (according to the section of wells). Results. The constructed maps of the thickness and paleo surface of the Luchychi stratum show the spatial variability of the basalt thickness and the reflection of the effective tectonic situation on its paleo surface, which can be "read" by relief elements. It is established that high copper content in basalts is spatially confined to areas of maximum thickness and shifted vertically to the near-roof and, partially, plantar parts of the basalt thickness, and the degree of their crystallization increases in the direction of the inner parts of bodies. This situation with the spatial arrangement of native mineralization indicates the existence within these areas of local isolated thermostated systems. They evolved in their internal parts in conditions close to the intrusive ones (relatively slow decrease in melt temperature, crystallization of rock differences almost devoid of volcanic glass – dolerite-basalts with the transition to dolerites in the central part). Such physicochemical conditions caused long-term migration of gaseous, gaseous-liquid and liquid fluids, providing concomitant extraction, concentration, transfer and deposition not only of native copper, but also a number of petrogenic oxides (alkalis, iron, partially calcium, silicium). The latter subsequently formed a number of low-temperature minerals, the most common of which are zeolites, calcite, and iron compounds. In areas with small and minimum thickness of basalts, the above facts are observed in a reduced form, and in some places are virtually absent. The research has established the complete absence of signs of hydrothermal copper ore mineralization. The latter indicates the lack of evidence about the formation of native mineralization of the hydrothermal type. We provide the geological and petrogeochemical facts that give grounds to consider the scenario of the process of formation of native copper mineralization in relation to the fluid-liquidation hypothesis, earlier developed and proposed by the authors. Scientific novelty. For the first time, the study made it possible to construct maps of the thickness and relief of the paleo surface of the basalts of the Luchychi strata of the Ratne–Kamin-Kashyrskyi area of Western Volyn. Based on the actual material it is shown that the vertical distribution and localization of native mineralization within basaltic bodies are naturally related to their thickness. The value of native copper is directly related to body thickness, reaching a maximum in areas with maximum thickness and background values at the minimum thickness. Practical significance. For the first time, geological, petrographic, geological and morphostructural data were compared with the copper content in basalts of the Luchichi stratum. The proposed approach can be used by geological production organizations in conducting exploration work to prepare promising areas for exploration of the North-Hirnyky and Rafalivka ore fields (ore nodes) within the Ratne Horst anticline. The obtained original material can be distributed as a new method of native mineralization search in other areas of the continental flood basalts distribution.
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