U-Pb (zircon) and geochemical constraints on the age, origin, and evolution of Paleozoic arc magmas in the Oyu Tolgoi porphyry Cu-Au district, southern Mongolia

Gondwana Research
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Abstract

Uranium-Pb (zircon) ages are linked with geochemical data for porphyry intrusions associated with giant porphyry Cu-Au systems at Oyu Tolgoi to place those rocks within the petrochemical framework of Devonian and Carboniferous rocks of southern Mongolia. In this part of the Gurvansayhan terrane within the Central Asian Orogenic Belt, the transition from Devonian tholeiitic marine rocks to unconformably overlying Carboniferous calc-alkaline subaerial to shallow marine volcanic rocks reflects volcanic arc thickening and maturation. Radiogenic Nd and Pb isotopic compositions (??Nd(t) range from +3.1 to +7.5 and 206Pb/204Pb values for feldspars range from 17.97 to 18.72), as well as low high-field strength element (HFSE) contents of most rocks (mafic rocks typically have <1.5% TiO2) are consistent with magma derivation from depleted mantle in an intra-oceanic volcanic arc. The Late Devonian and Carboniferous felsic rocks are dominantly medium- to high-K calc-alkaline and characterized by a decrease in Sr/Y ratios through time, with the Carboniferous rocks being more felsic than those of Devonian age. Porphyry Cu-Au related intrusions were emplaced in the Late Devonian during the transition from tholeiitic to calc-alkaline arc magmatism. Uranium-Pb (zircon) geochronology indicates that the Late Devonian pre- to syn-mineral quartz monzodiorite intrusions associated with the porphyry Cu-Au deposits are ~372Ma, whereas granodiorite intrusions that post-date major shortening and are associated with less well-developed porphyry Cu-Au mineralization are ~366Ma. Trace element geochemistry of zircons in the Late Devonian intrusions associated with the porphyry Cu-Au systems contain distinct Th/U and Yb/Gd ratios, as well as Hf and Y concentrations that reflect mixing of magma of distinct compositions. These characteristics are missing in the unmineralized Carboniferous intrusions. High Sr/Y and evidence for magma mixing in syn- to late-mineral intrusions distinguish the Late Devonian rocks associated with giant Cu-Au deposits from younger magmatic suites in the district. ?? 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title U-Pb (zircon) and geochemical constraints on the age, origin, and evolution of Paleozoic arc magmas in the Oyu Tolgoi porphyry Cu-Au district, southern Mongolia
Series title Gondwana Research
DOI 10.1016/j.gr.2010.11.012
Volume 19
Issue 3
Year Published 2011
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Gondwana Research
First page 764
Last page 787