Recent Activities -Aguathuna, Newfoundland Barite Locality


This isn't exactly a "Recent Activity" but I thought that you might like a look at the Aguathuna barite locality from a visit that I made there in 2002. The place where the barite is found is, in fact, a "white smoker". It was, millions of years ago, a hot spring at the bottom of the ocean, where barium and iron minerals precipitated out of hot spring solutions. When the hot water seeped out of the ocean bottom and encountered the cold ocaen water, the barium and iron minerals precipitated out and settled on the ocean floor. Over time, cavities and vugs in the barium rich limestone zone filled with crystals of barite, marcasite and calcite. In addtion, the limestone in and around this "white smoker" is rich with fossils, particularly casts of giant worms, JUST like the ones that we see in modern-day black and white smokers. Here are some images of the site and a few specimens that were recovered from there on that trip.

this is a close-up of the crystals in the barite specimen that had the calcite removed. Note that the crystals are not zoned? It appears that the calcite crystallized out before the zoning had a chance to happen. Any other crystals that we not covered with calcite had the white zoning. For information only. Not for sale.

A beautiful hemispherical formation of zoned barite crystals that is 4.8x4.8cm in size. For information only. Not for sale.

A close-up of the shells in the fossiliferous limestone. Each fossil is lined with tiny calcite crystals and often has a larger single calcite crystal or some barite crystals. Lots of this!

This is the Barite Locality. This hump of rock was left in the quarry floor at Aguathuna since it is "contaminated" with barium and was not suitable for use in steel-making, the primary use of limestone from the quarry. Lucky for us!! It has been there for decades but I understand that it has been removed now. Can anyone confirm that to me?

This is VERY fossiliferous rock! Note the thousands of mineralized 15mm shells cascading out of the limestone. Each one is hollow and lined with calcite or barite.

This is one of the vuggy areas of the outcrop. Lots of vugs but getting a little dangerous with the overhang!

This is a partial cast of a giant worm about 22mm in diameter! Note that the cast is completely filled with yellowish crystallized calcite. For information only. Not for sale.

This is another partial cast of a giant worm, 90mm in length. This one is partially filled with barite crystals. For information only. Not for sale.

A large, 95mm long calcite crystal associated with barite. Really, the calcite crystals from this locality are usually fairly homely, although once in a while you can break into a vug with un etched crystals. For info only, not for sale

This is a beauty! This barite specimen was collected in a vein of calcite and then the massive calcite was etched off of the barite. It is 11.0cm wide. For info only, not for sale.

This is some of the very fossiliferous limestone that I show in-situ above. Mostly shells with some other more unusual fossils. For info only, not for sale.

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