Implications of zeolites and their zonation in the Cajon Pass Deep Drillhole



Zeolites occur in all cores and most cuttings samples of plutonic and gneissic rock from the Cajon Pass Deep Drillhole. Laumontite or stilbite replace plagioclase and fill fractures <1 mm to several cms in width. Zeolitic alteration is most intense in faulted and fractured zones. Zeolite species are zoned vertically. Laumontite occurs to a depth of 1885 m, stilbite from 1885 m to 2080 m and laumontite again to at least 2524 m. The transition from stilbite to laumontite at 2080 m fits both extrapolated equilibria and the CPDDH P-T gradient but laumontite occurrences above 1885 m are metastable apparently reflecting rapid uplift. Radioactive accessory minerals from the wall rock surrounded by zeolites in some fractures exhibit red-brown haloes. Halo intensity correlates to mineral radioactivity and may allow dating of mineraliztion. Observation in the CPDDH suggest a potential role for zeolites in determining chemical and physical properties such as pore water composition, seismic velocity, and gravity contrasts in faults of the San Andreas system.