The dilemma of the Jiaodong gold deposits: Are they unique?

Richard Goldfarb, M. Santosh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    192 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The ca. 126-120 Ma Au deposits of the Jiaodong Peninsula, eastern China, define the country's largest gold province with an overall endowment estimated as >3000 t Au. The vein and disseminated ores are hosted by NE- to NNE-trending brittle normal faults that parallel the margins of ca. 165-150 Ma, deeply emplaced, lower crustal melt granites. The deposits are sited along the faults for many tens of kilometers and the larger orebodies are associated with dilatational jogs. Country rocks to the granites are Precambrian high-grade metamorphic rocks located on both sides of a Triassic suture between the North and South China blocks. During early Mesozoic convergent deformation, the ore-hosting structures developed as ductile thrust faults that were subsequently reactivated during Early Cretaceous "Yanshanian" intracontinental extensional deformation and associated gold formation. Classification of the gold deposits remains problematic. Many features resemble those typical of orogenic Au including the linear structural distribution of the deposits, mineralization style, ore and alteration assemblages, and ore fluid chemistry. However, Phanerozoic orogenic Au deposits are formed by prograde metamorphism of accreted oceanic rocks in Cordilleran-style orogens. The Jiaodong deposits, in contrast, formed within two Precambrian blocks approximately 2 billion years after devolatilization of the country rocks, and thus require a model that involves alternative fluid and metal sources for the ores. A widespread suite of ca. 130-123 Ma granodiorites overlaps temporally with the ores, but shows a poor spatial association with the deposits. Furthermore, the deposit distribution and mineralization style is atypical of ores formed from nearby magmas. The ore concentration requires fluid focusing during some type of sub-crustal thermal event, which could be broadly related to a combination of coeval lithospheric thinning, asthenospheric upwelling, paleo-Pacific plate subduction, and seismicity along the continental-scale Tan-Lu fault. Possible ore genesis scenarios include those where ore fluids were produced directly by the metamorphism of oceanic lithosphere and overlying sediment on the subducting paleo-Pacific slab, or by devolatilization of an enriched mantle wedge above the slab. Both the sulfur and gold could be sourced from either the oceanic sediments or the serpentinized mantle. A better understanding of the architecture of the paleo-Pacific slab during Early Cretaceous below the eastern margin of China is essential to determination of the validity of possible models.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)139-153
    JournalGeoscience Frontiers
    Volume5
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Fingerprint

    gold
    slab
    fluid
    country rock
    Precambrian
    ore
    mineralization
    Cretaceous
    mantle
    prograde metamorphism
    Pacific plate
    oceanic lithosphere
    thrust fault
    Phanerozoic
    granodiorite
    metamorphic rock
    sediment
    normal fault
    thinning
    seismicity

    Cite this

    @article{a43f1673fa274f07b807c82945f47490,
    title = "The dilemma of the Jiaodong gold deposits: Are they unique?",
    abstract = "The ca. 126-120 Ma Au deposits of the Jiaodong Peninsula, eastern China, define the country's largest gold province with an overall endowment estimated as >3000 t Au. The vein and disseminated ores are hosted by NE- to NNE-trending brittle normal faults that parallel the margins of ca. 165-150 Ma, deeply emplaced, lower crustal melt granites. The deposits are sited along the faults for many tens of kilometers and the larger orebodies are associated with dilatational jogs. Country rocks to the granites are Precambrian high-grade metamorphic rocks located on both sides of a Triassic suture between the North and South China blocks. During early Mesozoic convergent deformation, the ore-hosting structures developed as ductile thrust faults that were subsequently reactivated during Early Cretaceous {"}Yanshanian{"} intracontinental extensional deformation and associated gold formation. Classification of the gold deposits remains problematic. Many features resemble those typical of orogenic Au including the linear structural distribution of the deposits, mineralization style, ore and alteration assemblages, and ore fluid chemistry. However, Phanerozoic orogenic Au deposits are formed by prograde metamorphism of accreted oceanic rocks in Cordilleran-style orogens. The Jiaodong deposits, in contrast, formed within two Precambrian blocks approximately 2 billion years after devolatilization of the country rocks, and thus require a model that involves alternative fluid and metal sources for the ores. A widespread suite of ca. 130-123 Ma granodiorites overlaps temporally with the ores, but shows a poor spatial association with the deposits. Furthermore, the deposit distribution and mineralization style is atypical of ores formed from nearby magmas. The ore concentration requires fluid focusing during some type of sub-crustal thermal event, which could be broadly related to a combination of coeval lithospheric thinning, asthenospheric upwelling, paleo-Pacific plate subduction, and seismicity along the continental-scale Tan-Lu fault. Possible ore genesis scenarios include those where ore fluids were produced directly by the metamorphism of oceanic lithosphere and overlying sediment on the subducting paleo-Pacific slab, or by devolatilization of an enriched mantle wedge above the slab. Both the sulfur and gold could be sourced from either the oceanic sediments or the serpentinized mantle. A better understanding of the architecture of the paleo-Pacific slab during Early Cretaceous below the eastern margin of China is essential to determination of the validity of possible models.",
    author = "Richard Goldfarb and M. Santosh",
    year = "2014",
    doi = "10.1016/j.gsf.2013.11.001",
    language = "English",
    volume = "5",
    pages = "139--153",
    journal = "Geoscience Frontiers",
    issn = "1674-9871",
    publisher = "CHINA UNIV GEOSCIENCES, BEIJING",
    number = "2",

    }

    The dilemma of the Jiaodong gold deposits: Are they unique? / Goldfarb, Richard; Santosh, M.

    In: Geoscience Frontiers, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2014, p. 139-153.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The dilemma of the Jiaodong gold deposits: Are they unique?

    AU - Goldfarb, Richard

    AU - Santosh, M.

    PY - 2014

    Y1 - 2014

    N2 - The ca. 126-120 Ma Au deposits of the Jiaodong Peninsula, eastern China, define the country's largest gold province with an overall endowment estimated as >3000 t Au. The vein and disseminated ores are hosted by NE- to NNE-trending brittle normal faults that parallel the margins of ca. 165-150 Ma, deeply emplaced, lower crustal melt granites. The deposits are sited along the faults for many tens of kilometers and the larger orebodies are associated with dilatational jogs. Country rocks to the granites are Precambrian high-grade metamorphic rocks located on both sides of a Triassic suture between the North and South China blocks. During early Mesozoic convergent deformation, the ore-hosting structures developed as ductile thrust faults that were subsequently reactivated during Early Cretaceous "Yanshanian" intracontinental extensional deformation and associated gold formation. Classification of the gold deposits remains problematic. Many features resemble those typical of orogenic Au including the linear structural distribution of the deposits, mineralization style, ore and alteration assemblages, and ore fluid chemistry. However, Phanerozoic orogenic Au deposits are formed by prograde metamorphism of accreted oceanic rocks in Cordilleran-style orogens. The Jiaodong deposits, in contrast, formed within two Precambrian blocks approximately 2 billion years after devolatilization of the country rocks, and thus require a model that involves alternative fluid and metal sources for the ores. A widespread suite of ca. 130-123 Ma granodiorites overlaps temporally with the ores, but shows a poor spatial association with the deposits. Furthermore, the deposit distribution and mineralization style is atypical of ores formed from nearby magmas. The ore concentration requires fluid focusing during some type of sub-crustal thermal event, which could be broadly related to a combination of coeval lithospheric thinning, asthenospheric upwelling, paleo-Pacific plate subduction, and seismicity along the continental-scale Tan-Lu fault. Possible ore genesis scenarios include those where ore fluids were produced directly by the metamorphism of oceanic lithosphere and overlying sediment on the subducting paleo-Pacific slab, or by devolatilization of an enriched mantle wedge above the slab. Both the sulfur and gold could be sourced from either the oceanic sediments or the serpentinized mantle. A better understanding of the architecture of the paleo-Pacific slab during Early Cretaceous below the eastern margin of China is essential to determination of the validity of possible models.

    AB - The ca. 126-120 Ma Au deposits of the Jiaodong Peninsula, eastern China, define the country's largest gold province with an overall endowment estimated as >3000 t Au. The vein and disseminated ores are hosted by NE- to NNE-trending brittle normal faults that parallel the margins of ca. 165-150 Ma, deeply emplaced, lower crustal melt granites. The deposits are sited along the faults for many tens of kilometers and the larger orebodies are associated with dilatational jogs. Country rocks to the granites are Precambrian high-grade metamorphic rocks located on both sides of a Triassic suture between the North and South China blocks. During early Mesozoic convergent deformation, the ore-hosting structures developed as ductile thrust faults that were subsequently reactivated during Early Cretaceous "Yanshanian" intracontinental extensional deformation and associated gold formation. Classification of the gold deposits remains problematic. Many features resemble those typical of orogenic Au including the linear structural distribution of the deposits, mineralization style, ore and alteration assemblages, and ore fluid chemistry. However, Phanerozoic orogenic Au deposits are formed by prograde metamorphism of accreted oceanic rocks in Cordilleran-style orogens. The Jiaodong deposits, in contrast, formed within two Precambrian blocks approximately 2 billion years after devolatilization of the country rocks, and thus require a model that involves alternative fluid and metal sources for the ores. A widespread suite of ca. 130-123 Ma granodiorites overlaps temporally with the ores, but shows a poor spatial association with the deposits. Furthermore, the deposit distribution and mineralization style is atypical of ores formed from nearby magmas. The ore concentration requires fluid focusing during some type of sub-crustal thermal event, which could be broadly related to a combination of coeval lithospheric thinning, asthenospheric upwelling, paleo-Pacific plate subduction, and seismicity along the continental-scale Tan-Lu fault. Possible ore genesis scenarios include those where ore fluids were produced directly by the metamorphism of oceanic lithosphere and overlying sediment on the subducting paleo-Pacific slab, or by devolatilization of an enriched mantle wedge above the slab. Both the sulfur and gold could be sourced from either the oceanic sediments or the serpentinized mantle. A better understanding of the architecture of the paleo-Pacific slab during Early Cretaceous below the eastern margin of China is essential to determination of the validity of possible models.

    U2 - 10.1016/j.gsf.2013.11.001

    DO - 10.1016/j.gsf.2013.11.001

    M3 - Article

    VL - 5

    SP - 139

    EP - 153

    JO - Geoscience Frontiers

    JF - Geoscience Frontiers

    SN - 1674-9871

    IS - 2

    ER -