Open Access

The volcanism-related multistage hydrothermal system of El Jaroso (SE Spain): Implications for the exploration of Mars

Earth, Planets and Space201456:BF03352523

Received: 16 April 2004

Accepted: 21 June 2004

Published: 24 June 2014


The SE Mediterranean margin of Spain is an extremely interesting area of synchronous interaction of tectonic, volcanic, evaporitic and mineralizing hydrothermal processes. This works tackles the multiple relations among these processes by the study of a specific and representative case: the ‘Jaroso Hydrothermal System’. The hydrothermal fluids were genetically linked with the late episodes of the Upper Miocene calc-alkaline and shoshonitic volcanism of the area. The ascent of the fluids was mainly controlled by the Palomares fault in Sierra Almagrera. In the shallow-marine basin of Las Herrerias, the movement of the acid solutions was controlled by both NNE-SSW and N150E normal faults and WNW-ESE wrench reverse faults. At least three mineralising stages were identified, although the particular formation of jarosite could be associated with both hypogenic and supergenic processes. We suggest that the multistage hydrothermal system of El Jaroso (Sierra Almagrera, Almería province, SE Spain), which is responsible for both the Jaroso ores (especially rich in jarosite) and the Las Herrerias sulfate-rich, shallowmarine laminites, could be exploited as a potential model with important implications for the exploration of Mars.

Key words

Jarosite hydrothermal shallow-marine analog Mars