From Andesitic Volcanism To The Formation Of A Porphyry Cu-Au Mineralizing Magma Chamber- The Farallon Negro Volcanic Complex, Northwestern Argentina

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Journal Article: From Andesitic Volcanism To The Formation Of A Porphyry Cu-Au Mineralizing Magma Chamber- The Farallon Negro Volcanic Complex, Northwestern Argentina

Abstract
The geological relations and geochemical composition of extrusive and subvolcanic intrusive rocks of the Upper Miocene Farallon Negro Volcanic Complex (NW Argentina) were studied to reconstruct the evolution of a deeply eroded andesitic volcano over most its life history of some 3.5 my. This paper is part of an integrated study of the processes that generate magmatic-hydrothermal fluids responsible for the formation of porphyry-Cu-Au deposits. Here we present new data on bulk rock chemical and Nd, Sr and Pb isotopic compositions of unaltered volcanic and subvolcanic intrusive rocks, for which geological relations and ages are constrained by field-based stratigraphy and extensive Ar-Ar geochronology. The combined results indicate that voluminous volcanism started at ca. 9.7 Ma with the eruption of basaltic andesite to andesite lava flows and pyroclastic deposits. This basic to intermediate volcanism persisted until 7.5 Ma and was followed at 7.35 Ma by the eruption of dacites as the last recorded major extrusive event. The oldest andesitic intrusions, emplaced at 9.0 Ma, were followed by hypabyssal intrusions of basaltic andesite, andesite and dacite composition, which intruded the volcanic sequence between 8.3 and 6.1 Ma. Intrusions at 6.8±0.2 Ma led to the formation of over 800 Mt of porphyry-Cu-Au ore at Bajo de la Alumbrera. It was formed by a large flux of magmatic-hydrothermal fluids channeled through several phases of fractured dacitic porphyry, which together with immediately following barren andesitic intrusions make up a composite stock. After this magmatic-hydrothermal event, only minor rhyodacitic to rhyolitic intrusions were emplaced until magmatic activity ceased at 6.1 Ma. Geochemical data for the magmatic rocks indicate that the evolution of the system was dominated by mixing of a mafic magma with a felsic magma that contained a component of crustal material, as indicated by linear compositional correlations between compatible and incompatible elements. Initial strontium isotopic ratios vary between 0.7047 and 0.7118 while 143Nd/144Nd range from 0.5127 to 0.5124, and both isotopic variations correlate with each other and with SiO2 content of the rocks. After 8.5 Ma, a continuous increase in the silica content of intrusive rocks suggests the gradual formation of a magma chamber. A substantial magma reservoir (>7 km3) must have been established by the time of porphyry-Cu-Au mineralization, to allow rapid release of a large volume of ore-forming magmatic brine as a result of wholesale crystallization and de-volatilization of the magma chamber.

Authors 
Werner E. Halter, Nicolas Bain, Katja Becker, Christoph A. Heinrich, Marianne Landtwing, Albrecht VonQuadt, Alan H. Clark, Anne M. Sasso, Thomas Bissig and Richard M. Tosdal








Published Journal 
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 2004





DOI 
Not Provided
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Citation

Werner E. Halter,Nicolas Bain,Katja Becker,Christoph A. Heinrich,Marianne Landtwing,Albrecht VonQuadt,Alan H. Clark,Anne M. Sasso,Thomas Bissig,Richard M. Tosdal. 2004. From Andesitic Volcanism To The Formation Of A Porphyry Cu-Au Mineralizing Magma Chamber- The Farallon Negro Volcanic Complex, Northwestern Argentina. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. (!) .