Scientific article

Fluid flow through the sedimentary cover in northern Switzerland recorded by calcite–celestite veins (Oftringen borehole, Olten)

Published inSwiss Journal of Geosciences, vol. 104, no. 3, p. 493-506
Publication date2011

Abundant veins filled by calcite, celestite and pyrite were found in the core of a 719 m deep borehole drilled in Oftringen near Olten, located in the north-western Molasse basin, close to the thrust of the Folded Jura. Host rocks are calcareous marl, argillaceous limestone and limestone of the Dogger and Malm. The d18O values of vein calcite are lower than in host rock carbonate and, together with microthermometric data from fluid inclusions in vein calcite, indicate precipitation from a seawaterdominated fluid at average temperatures of 56–68°C. Such temperatures were reached at the time of maximum burial of the sedimentary pile in the late Miocene. The depth profile of d13C and 87Sr/86Sr values and Sr content of both whole-rock carbonate and vein calcite show marked trends towards negative d13C, high 87Sr/86Sr, and low Sr content in the uppermost 50–150 m of the Jurassic profile (upper Oxfordian). The 87Sr/86Sr of vein minerals is generally higher than that of host rock carbonate, up to very high values corresponding to Burdigalian seawater (Upper Marine Molasse, Miocene), which represents the last marine incursion in the region. No evidence for internally derived radiogenic Sr (clay minerals) has been found and so an external source is required. S and O isotope composition of vein celestite and pyrite can be explained by bacterial reduction of Miocene seawater sulphate. The available data set suggests the vein mineralization precipitated from descending Burdigalian seawater and not from a fluid originating in the underlying Triassic evaporites.

  • Isotope
  • Fluid inclusions
  • Mesozoic
  • Miocene
  • Burdigalian
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
DE HALLER, Antoine et al. Fluid flow through the sedimentary cover in northern Switzerland recorded by calcite–celestite veins (Oftringen borehole, Olten). In: Swiss Journal of Geosciences, 2011, vol. 104, n° 3, p. 493–506. doi: 10.1007/s00015-011-0085-x
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1661-8726

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