Hydrogen and oxygen isotope analyses of sericites and kaolinites from four young porphyry copper deposits (Ok Tedi (1.2 Ma) and Yandera (6.5 Ma), Papua New Guinea; Koloula (1.5 Ma), Solomon Islands; and Waisoi (<5 Ma), Fiji) indicate that the fluids from which these minerals precipitated were of mixed magmatic and non-magmatic sources. The non-magmatic component of the fluid from the island arc deposits (Koloula, Waisoi) was ocean water. For Ok Tedi, the non-magmatic component was a meteoric water with an isotopic composition different from that of the present meteoric water in the region. The isotopic signature of the former meteoric water is consistent with a surface elevation of 200 m a.s.l. or less at the time of mineralization. The deposit was later exposed and supergene kaolinitization commenced at approximately 1200 m a.s.l. Uplift and erosion has continued to the present at which time the elevation of the exposed deposit is 1800 m a.s.l. This rate of uplift is consistent with that known from other geological evidence. If the rate of uplift were approximately constant during the last 1.2 Ma, the age of supergene enrichment can be dated at approximately 0.4 Ma B.P. Similarly, influx of meteoric water at Yandera occurred when the ground surface above the deposit was at an elevation of approximately 600 m a.s.l. The deposit's present elevation is 1600 m a.s.l. In this case a total uplift of approximately 2.2 km is indicated, with removal of 1.2 km of overburden by erosion. ?? 1984.
Additional publication details
Uplift and submarine formation of some Melanesian porphyry copper deposits: Stable isotope evidence