Redox-controlled selenide mineralization in the upper old red sandstone

Samuel C. Spinks*, John Parnell, John W. Still

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Selenium concentrations occur in organic-rich lithologies such as coal, and as secondary accumulations from the oxidative mobilization, migration and subsequent concentration upon encountering reductants such as organic matter or H2S. Here we assess the redox mineralization of copper and lead selenide phases in the cores of reduction spheroids in Devonian sedimentary red beds. We propose that the selenide mineralization occurred as descending meteoric fluids, supplied with selenium from Carboniferous coal seams, migrated through a major fault plane into underlying sandstones where localized, microbially-induced reducing conditions prevailed. These findings and other occurrences of selenide mineralization between Devonian and Carboniferous strata on the British Isles suggest a widespread selenide mineralization system between strata of that age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-182
Number of pages10
JournalScottish Journal of Geology
Issue number2
Early online date3 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note


The authors would like to thank Clive Rice for supplying control samples from Argentina, Chris Stanley and Richard Pattrick for constructive comments that improved the manuscript.


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