Mineral systems and their putative link with mantle plumes

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6 Citations (Scopus)


In this contribution, I discuss the putative link of mantle plumes with selected categories of mineral systems. Continental rifting and break-ups can be induced by the upwelling of mantle plumes, also resulting in the generation of a wide range of mineral deposits. These include magma-associated ores, anorogenic igneous events responsible for iron oxide–copper–gold (IOCG) deposits, carbonatites and hydrothermal-induced mineralization, as well as hydrocarbons, salt domes, petroleum and gas, and several mineral systems in continental passive margins. Amongst the magma-associated mineral systems, the Ni–Cu–platinum group element (PGE), Fe– Ti–V and Cr deposits are the economically most important, such as those of the Bushveld Igneous Complex in South Africa. Anorogenic magmas are generally alkaline and associated with IOCG mineral systems, as exemplified by the giant Olympic Dam and similar deposits in South America. Carbonatites are considered as a distal effect of hotspot mantle plumes, as shown by Mount Weld in Australia, which may be related to the Bushveld Superplume. Plume-related thermal anomalies are the principal factor for the inception of hydrothermal circulation and the genesis of a wide range of hydrothermal mineral systems in rift-related tectonic settings. These include large-scale sedimentary-rock-hosted metalliferous ores, such as sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) deposits. A modern example of is provided by the Red Sea brine pools. Some key examples are presented in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLarge Igneous Provinces and their Plumbing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationGeological Society Special Publication
EditorsRajesh K. Srivastava, Richard E. Ernst, Kenneth L. Buchan, Michiel de Kock
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherGeological Society of London
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)978-1-78620-552-0
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameGeological Society Special Publication
ISSN (Print)0305-8719


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