Scientific article

Linking Pacific Plate formation and Early Cretaceous metallogenic response on the circum-Pacific continental margins

Publication date2023-05-05
First online date2023-05-05

Hydrothermal mineralization along the circum-Pacific continental margin is genetically linked to the motions of the Pacific Plate. Compiled geochronological results of ore deposits, coupled with the newly reconstructed geometry of the late Early Cretaceous subduction zones in East China, North America, and the Central Andes using GPlates and I2VIS software, were applied to investigate the relationships between mineralization and Pacific Plate formation. The ∼120-m.y.-old orogenic Au provinces in East China and North America are related to transpression caused by high-rate oblique subduction with intermediate−high dip angles of the Izanagi and Farallon plates, respectively. In contrast, the ∼105-m.y.-old porphyry-epithermal belt in Southeast China was produced by oblique subduction of the Izanagi Plate with low−intermediate subduction rates and intermediate−high dip angles. In the Central Andes, the oblique subduction of the Farallon Plate with low−intermediate rates and low dip angle accounted for iron oxide−copper−gold ore (IOCG) deposit mineralization in South Peru at ca. 110 Ma; whereas the high rate and low dip-angle subduction of the paleo-Phoenix Plate, which caused mild compression, was responsible for Fe, porphyry Cu, and IOCG mineralization in North Chile at ca. 110 Ma. The late Early Cretaceous metallogenic response in the circum-Pacific region coincides with superplume events that triggered the significant growth of the modern Pacific Plate. The forward simulations reveal that different subsequent styles of subduction and associated magmatism are likely responsible for the distinct mineralization types present in the region, including orogenic Au, porphyry-epithermal, Fe, and IOCG deposits. The precise dynamics of the subduction zone determined by this study led to the improved metallogenesis models in the Pacific margin.

Citation (ISO format)
WU, Chao et al. Linking Pacific Plate formation and Early Cretaceous metallogenic response on the circum-Pacific continental margins. In: Geological Society of America bulletin, 2023. doi: 10.1130/B36717.1
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0016-7606

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