Across the southern Ozark Region, northern Arkansas, southwestern Missouri, and northeastern Oklahoma, exposures of the Lower Mississippian Boone Formation and its equivalents exhibit well-developed tripolitic chert that has been mined, more or less continuously, for at least 80 years. The tripolitic chert is a replacement of an interval within the basal portion of the upper Boone Formation in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and equivalent to the Elsey Formation in Missouri. The movement of silica-rich, hydrothermal fluids appears to have been much like that of a confined aquifer. It followed the basal upper Boone Formation (Arkansas) = Elsey Formation (Missouri) and was bound below by an impermeable interval at the top of the lower Boone Formation (Arkansas) = Reeds Spring Formation (Missouri), and above by the base of the upper Boone Formation (Arkansas) = Burlington-Keokuk (Missouri). The first hydrothermal event incompletely silicified the basal upper Boone = Elsey Formation. After leaching of the remnant carbonate, thus forming the tripolitic chert, a second hydrothermal event deposited terminated and doubly terminated quartz crystals, and druse in the tripolitic chert voids. This hydrothermal event may have pro-duced the Mississippi Valley-Type (MVT) lead-zinc deposits in northeast Oklahoma and southwestern Missouri. The famous deposits at Picher, Oklahoma, and Joplin, Missouri, appear to be positioned in the apparent path of the hydrothermal fluid migration. While timing of these hydrothermal events is unclear, they may reflect lateral secretion produced by the Ouachita Orogeny in the Late Pennsylvanian.
Chick, J.; Cains, J.; McFarlin, F.; McKim, S.; and Potra, A.
"Hydrothermally Emplaced, Lower Mississippian, Tripolitic Chert and Its Possible Relationship to the Tri-State Lead-Zinc Mining District,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 71
, Article 29.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol71/iss1/29