The major purposes of this chapter are to provide (1) an overview of the regional geology, tectonics, and metallogenesis of Northeast Asia for readers who are unfamiliar with the region, (2) a general scientific introduction to the succeeding chapters of this volume, and (3) an overview of the methodology of metallogenic and tectonic analysis used in this study. We also describe how a high-quality metallogenic and tectonic analysis, including construction of an associated metallogenic-tectonic model will greatly benefit other mineral resource studies, including synthesis of mineral-deposit models; improve prediction of undiscovered mineral deposit as part of a quantitative mineral-resource-assessment studies; assist land-use and mineral-exploration planning; improve interpretations of the origins of host rocks, mineral deposits, and metallogenic belts, and suggest new research.
Research on the metallogenesis and tectonics of such major regions as Northeast Asia (eastern Russia, Mongolia, northern China, South Korea, and Japan) and the Circum-North Pacific (the Russian Far East, Alaska, and the Canadian Cordillera) requires a complex methodology including (1) definitions of key terms, (2) compilation of a regional geologic base map that can be interpreted according to modern tectonic concepts and definitions, (3) compilation of a mineral-deposit database that enables a determination of mineral-deposit models and clarification of the relations of deposits to host rocks and tectonic origins, (4) synthesis of a series of mineral-deposit models that characterize the known mineral deposits and inferred undiscovered deposits in the region, (5) compilation of a series of metallogenic-belt belts constructed on the regional geologic base map, and (6) construction of a unified metallogenic and tectonic model.
The summary of regional geology and metallogenesis presented here is based on publications of the major international collaborative studies of the metallogenesis and tectonics of Northeast Asia that have been led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). These studies have produced two broad types of publications (1) a series of regional geologic, mineral-deposit, and metallogenic-belt maps, with companion descriptions of the region, and (2) a suite of metallogenic and tectonic analyses of the same region.
The study area consists of eastern Russia (most of eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East), Mongolia, northern China, South Korea, Japan, and adjacent offshore areas. The major cooperative agencies are the Russian Academy of Sciences; the Academy of Sciences of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia); VNIIOkeangeologia and Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation; the Mongolian Academy of Sciences; the Mongolian University of Science and Technology; the Mongolian National University; Jilin University, Changchun, People's Republic of China, the China Geological Survey; the Korea Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources; the Geological Survey of Japan/AIST; the University of Texas, Arlington, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
This study builds on and extends the data and interpretations from a previous project on the Major Mineral Deposits, Metallogenesis, and Tectonics of the Russian Far East, Alaska, and the Canadian Cordillera conducted by the USGS, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, and the Geological Survey of Canada. The major products of this project were summarized by Naumova and others (2006) and are described in appendix A.