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In the field of mineral exploration, image analysis systems (IAS) and geographical information systems (GIS) have been applied to integrate various datasets to develop more reliable and objective methods for gold exploration. The present (MIDAS) project was formulated to extend this approach more widely in the Caledonian and Hercynian orogenic belts in western Europe. A brief review of metallogenic models for gold ore deposits is presented first with particular reference to mesothermal and epithermal types which are considered the most likely to be of economic significance in western Europe. The main features of the Caledonian and Variscan orogenic belts are then outlined, especially the regional geological and tectonic settings in which gold mineralization occurs. Selected gold prospects and deposits from each region are described and classified in relation to metallogenic models, from which exploration criteria are derived and the signatures of the gold mineralization identified. Economic models are evaluated and follow-up case studies from the countries associated with the project are assessed. Finally, the results of geological and economic modelling are considered and their applicability to exploration for gold in Europe and beyond are discussed.

Additional information

Authors: GUNN A G, British Geological Survey, Nottingham (GB);PLANT J A (EDITORS), British Geological Survey, Nottingham (GB)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 17462 EN (1998) 143pp., free of charge
Availability: Available from the European Commission, DG XII-C-4, 200 rue de la Loi, B-1049 Bruxelles (BE)
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