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Salar del Hombre Muerto, Antofagasta de la Sierra Department, Catamarca, Argentina

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 25° 25' 10'' South , 67° 4' 1'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -25.41944,-67.06694

Latitude: 25º 25´ 10.30" South.
Longitude: 67º 04´ 01.89" West.
Elevation: 3973 meters over sea level.

Salt Lakes of Puna: in Catamarca-Salta, occurs in significant volumes in the "Salar del Hombre Muerto". The contemporary development of volcanism along with the formation of evaporitics during the Quaternary deposits, found a massive transfer of ions to basins, with precipitation of important volumes of various salts. Therefore, the Halite is accompanied by agreement the salar, carbonate of calcium, Sodium-Lithium brine(also contains K, Cs and Rb, like as Chlorides), ulexite, gypsum, anhydrite, thenardite, mirabilite/glauberite or tincal.

"Salar del Hombre Muerto", Catamarca and Salta. In the area there are metamorphic rocks crossed by pegmatites and dykes of quartz; alongside these last few notes a system of thin veins (up to 2 cm of power), irregular distribution, sometimes anastomosed with small cores of Hematite and associated with the Ta mineral columbite-tantalite. This mineral was studied, with electronic microprobe, and although it was described as uraniferous pyrochlore, by its composition corresponds to uraniferous microlite. Ilmenite and rutile are also observed. Electronic microprobe, R. Girau analysts and P. Picot, B.R.G.M. laboratory, Orleans, France.
Chemical Analysis of four samples:
UO2: 10.34% - 9.15% - 1.66% - 3.98%.
Nb2O5: 3.49% - 3.80% - 2.15% - 3.94%.
Ta2O5: 67.79% - 69.52% - 76.60% - 74.19%.
FeO: 0.35% - 0.19% - 0.05% - .....
MnO: 0.15% - 0.11% - ..... - .....
CaO: 6.92% - 7.45% - 9.69% - 9.27%.
Na2O: 6.03% - 6.19% - 8.05% - 6.44%.
H2O: 95.07% - 96.41% - 98.20% - 97.82%.

Sources of Obsidian in the area are small domes and lava domes associated with stratum and largely composed of lavas of dacite and rhyolite volcanoes. These Obsidian is usually associated with eruptive phases containing rhyolites with pyroclastic ash and lapilli,Plinian and obsidianics lava eruptions.
There are more than fourteen bodies of Obsidian in the Argentine Northwest: positively identified sources, three are in the province of Salta (Chirón, Ramadas, Alto Tocomar), six in Catamarca (Ona - Las Cuevas, Valle Ancho, Cueros de Purulla, Chascón, Laguna Cavi and Salar del Hombre Muerto), one at the boundary of these two provinces (Archibarca) and another on the border between Jujuy, Bolivia and Chile (Zapaleri and Caldera Vilama 1 and 2).
It is worth noting that for the time being, the source of Archibarca is only known from a few nodules of this raw that appeared near this volcano, on the border between the province of Catamarca and Salta.
Also, the source of the Salar del Hombre Muerto is also known from the presence of concentrations of nodules of this rock in the vicinity of the Salt Lake.
Chemistry: a sample was analyzed by X-ray fluorescence wavelength-dispersive.
SiO2: 73.7%
Al2O3: 13.9%
Fe2O3: 1.2%
TiO2: 0.24%
CaO: 0.89%
MgO: 0.27%
Na2O: 4.91%
K2O: 4.03%
Loss to red: 0.53%

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

26 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

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Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

541 - 1000 Ma
Neoproterozoic intrusive and metamorphic terranes

Age: Neoproterozoic (541 - 1000 Ma)

Comments: Mixtures of metamorphic and intrusive or plutonic rocks, tracts known as crystalline, migmatitic terranes, moderately to highly metamorphosed rocks of unknown origin with or without intrusions. This classification is inherently prone to variable interpretation, as other compilers might distinguish some packages by their metamorphic or gneissic protoliths, and the associated age ranges may be more variable.

Lithology: Intrusive and metamorphic terranes

Reference: Geological Survey of Canada. Generalized geological map of the world and linked databases. doi:10.4095/195142. Open File 2915d. [18]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

Localities in this Region

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R. N. Alonso (1999). Los salares de la Puna y sus recursos evaporíticos, Jujuy, Salta y Catamarca. En: Recursos Minerales de la República Argentina (Ed. E.O. Zappettini), Instituto de Geología y Recursos Minerales. SEGEMAR, Anales 35: 1907-1921.

C. R. Cortelezzi y R. A. Argañaraz (1981). Estudio de los minerales de tantalio-niobio del Salar del Hombre Muerto, provincia de Catamarca. 8° Congreso Geológico Argentino, 4: 293-302.

Secretaria de Minería, Industria y Recursos Energéticos de la provincia de Salta. Informe de economía y producción (2004- 2005). (Acceso Marzo de 2010).

Raúl Jorge Tauber Larry (1996-1997-1998-1999-2000-2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006). Visitas al área del Salar del Hombre Muerto, límite provincial Catamarca-Salta. Reporte personal.

Dirección Provincial de Geología y Minería de la Provincia de Catamarca (1970). Padrón de Minas.

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