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Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 9479528, 20 pages
Research Article

Modelling Seismically Induced Mesothermal Goldfields along the Deep-Rooted Cadillac-Larder Lake Fault, Abitibi, Canada

1Centre d’Études sur les Ressources Minérales, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, QC, Canada G7H 2B1
2Consortium de Recherche en Exploration Minérale (CONSOREM), 555 boulevard de l’Université, Chicoutimi, QC, Canada G7H 2B1
3Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources Naturelles du Québec, 201, avenue du Président-Kennedy, Montréal, QC, Canada H2X 3Y7

Correspondence should be addressed to Pierre Bedeaux

Received 3 November 2017; Accepted 23 January 2018; Published 25 February 2018

Academic Editor: Alexander Gysi

Copyright © 2018 Pierre Bedeaux et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Gold deposits are not uniformly distributed along major faults due to complex (and long-debated) interactions between seismicity, hydrothermalism, and structural heterogeneities. Here, we use static stress modelling (SSM) to quantitatively investigate these interactions, by exploring the role of Cadillac-Larder Lake Fault (CLLF) Archean seismicity in the genesis of the regional goldfields. Various rheological factors are evaluated for optimizing the models’ ability to reproduce known gold occurrences, regarded as the fossil primary markers of synkinematic hydrothermal systems. We propose that the marked structural heterogeneities of the CLLF induced persistent seismic segmentation and recurrent ruptures of the same fault windows that arrested on robust node points. These ruptures favour repeated occurrences of seismically triggered hydrothermalism along long-existing fluid pathways having an enhanced permeability and iterative ore formation into supracrustal discharge zones by means of episodic drops and build-ups of pressure. Two-dimensional SSM permits the predictive mapping of these high-potential zones. These modelled zones correlate positively with the actual observed gold distribution. We demonstrate that the ruptures along the Joannes Segment arresting on the Davidson Fault and Lapa’s bend can explain the occurrence and location of the Rouyn and Malartic goldfields; the models’ validity is improved by implementing regional geological constraints; and the distant gold occurrences from the CLLF, including the Bourlamaque field, can be explained by doublet seismic events along the Rivière-Héva and Lapause subsidiary faults. Our results provide new perspectives from a fundamental standpoint and for exploration purposes.