Fluid-rock reactions of the Triassic Taiyangshan porphyry Cu-Mo deposit (West Qinling, China) constrained by QEMSCAN and iron isotope

Lian Zhang, Kunfeng Qiu, Zhaoliang Hou, Franco Pirajno, Espine Shivute, Yiwei Cai

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17 Citations (Scopus)


The multiphase hydrothermal superposition phenomena on porphyry deposits, the mineral complexity and characteristics of the alteration-associated assemblages limit a further determination for the magmatic-hydrothermal evolution in porphyry deposits. The Taiyangshan porphyry Cu-Mo deposit in the northern margin of the Triassic West Qinling Orogenic Belt exhibits a multi-stage, alteration-related quartz sulfide veins that recorded element migration processes during fluid-rock reactions. In this study, we investigated hydrothermal veins in the Taiyangshan deposit focusing on vein compositions and structures as well as the evolution of ore formation, using quantitative evaluation of minerals by scanning electron microscopy (QEMSCAN) and iron isotope analyses. The formation of the early K-feldspar-biotite-quartz-magnetite-apatite veins is closely associated with the early potassic alteration, and during the fluid-rock reactions, Si, S, Fe, and K migrated in, while Mg, Ca and Na migrated out. K-feldspar-chlorite-pyrite-chalcopyrite-quartz veins correlated to the propylitic alteration, dominantly caused the migration of Si, Fe, S, Ca Mg, Al and K. Quartz-sericite-pyrite veins corresponding to the phyllic alteration processes that occurred in a relatively late stage, during the fluid-rock reactions of which, Si, Fe, S, and K migrated into the system. The δ56Fe whole-rock values of altered porphyries range from 0.08‰ to 0.31‰, and δ56Fe values of pyrite from quartz veins range from 0.30‰ to 0.57‰. Iron isotope compositions of both pyrites of the ore-bearing wall rocks and the quartz-sulfide veins of the Taiyangshan Cu-Mo deposit are generally uniform, which indicate the same source origin between the ore-bearing porphyry and the iron isotope compositions of the metal sulfide in the quartz veins, and additionally highlight that the ore-forming source is closely related to the ore-bearing porphyry. Magnetite precipitated in the early stage of potassic alteration, resulting in the enrichment of the light Fe isotope in the early fluids. Crystallization and precipitation of pyrite mainly occurred during processes of propylitic and phyllic alteration, leading to an absorption of the light Fe isotope, and elsewhere, an enrichment of the heavy Fe isotope in the fluids. During the fluid-rock reactions of propylitic and phyllic alteration, a large amount of S migrated into the veins, thereby promoting the fractionation of Fe isotope. Moreover, the development of the ore-forming fluids enriched with heavy Fe isotope from early potassic- to late phyllic alteration, are indicative of isotopic progressions from the early lithostatic pressure to the late hydrostatic pressure. Our research on the Taiyangshan Cu-Mo porphyry deposit helps to explain the evolutionary processes of the magmatic–hydrothermal system, and improves our understanding of the porphyry metallogenic evolution model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104068
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


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