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A rusty, ferruginous deposit filling the upper regions of mineral veins and overlying a sulfide deposit; formed by oxidation of pyrites. Also known as capping; gozzan; iron hat.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(iron hat), a residual formation that occurs in the surface parts of ore (primary sulfide) deposits of copper, lead, zinc, and other metals as a result of chemical weathering and oxidation of the primary minerals of the ore body. Gossans consist primarily of iron oxides and hydrous iron oxides (goethite, hydrogoethite, hydrohematite, turgite), and as a result they are usually dark or light red, ocherous, or brownish red in color. The formation of gossans is associated with the oxidizing action of surface waters and is accompanied by the secondary enrichment of ore deposits. In the process of weathering, the sulfides of copper, silver, zinc, and other metals oxidize to easily soluble sulfates, after which they are leached and carried to deeper parts of the ore body. At the same time the iron in sulfurous compounds—pyrite, chalcopyrite, and other sulfides—is only partially removed in the form of a soluble salt (sulfate of iron oxide); most of the iron is oxidized and hydrated and remains in place in the form of hydrates of iron oxide (brown iron ores). These secondary brown iron ores, occurring as a result of the transformation of original pyritic and other ores containing iron sulfides, are what form the gossans near the earth’s surface. The depth at which gossans are found beneath the earth’s surface is usually restricted to the groundwater level and may extend to dozens or even hundreds of meters. In comparison with initial sulfide ores gossans are richer in iron in their upper parts and in gold in their lower parts. Contrasting strongly with the enclosing rocks, gossans serve as an important indicator in explorations for sulfide-ore deposits and in identifying the primary ores concealed in the depths.


Smirnov, S. S. Zona okisleniia sul’fidnykh mestorozhdenii, 3rd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1955.
Saukov, A. A. Geokhimiia, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"We continue to grieve with the families even as we close this grim chapter of the Big Gossan incident," said Rozik B.
Most of these ore sources in our study area are rather large quartz veins stained by the slow weathering of the pyrites they commonly contain to produce a rusty gossan (an exposed, oxidized portion of a mineral or ore vein).
International Resource News-January 9, 2012--Callinex Mines reports drilling permit for Gossan Hill Property(C)1994-2012 ENPublishing - http://www.enpublishing.co.uk
Gossan. Wright, and Sanders follow a similar methodology, they leave us asking ''Will the real Jesus please stand up?" Allison concludes that current criteria of dissimilarity, multiple attestation, embarrassment, and coherence create a Jesus in one's own image.
Este partido representaba una matriz de gobierno a traves de una politica clientelista (sistema extraoficial de intercambios de favores, concesiones, ...) que mantuvo su dominio en Mexico hasta los cambios iniciales del 2000 (Pozas, 1977; Gossan, 1974; Irribarren, 1980; Lopez Meza, 2002; Robledo 1987; Rus 1994, 1995, 2005).
The best known occurrence of rare metals is north of Kenora at Separation Rapids, where Avalon Rare Metals and Gossan Resources are working ground thought to host one of the largest pegmatite deposits in the world.
Malagasy Minerals has received initial assays for the June 2010 gossan grab-sample sampling programme over the previously reported 11 Magmatic Massive Sulphide Gossans at its 100%-owned Ampanihy Nickel-Copper PGE Project in southern Madagascar.
They are loose crystal groups of miniature size and matrix specimens to about 12 cm across, the latter with fluorite crystals resting on typically earthy brown gossan. The simple cubic, deep purple fluorite crystals reach 3.5 cm on edge, and they are totally gemmy and of such high luster that they look oiled (but Jason New and his father Mike swear that the crystals have not been oiled, and we may certainly trust these honest fellows).
The concentrated gaze on her face, rendered with the doughy muscularity of a Jan Gossan Madonna, underscores her misguided deliberateness in pursuing life's follies.
Quite unprepossessing hills resembling dun-colored slag heaps send a frisson of joy down the spines of these otherwise serious-minded men who feel, as one long-term expat geologist muttered to me at a social gathering, "I really prefer rocks to people." Without any warning they are much given to stopping in front of fractured walls of rock with a sigh and saying incomprehensible things such as: "Will ye just look at that gossan," or spontaneously bark out "Chert" or "Goethite" surprising passers-by who get the impression that the odd looking guy in the floppy hat and big boots is afflicted with Tourette's syndrome.