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Type: Journal article
Title: Lithospheric architecture and mantle metasomatism linked to iron oxide Cu-Au ore formation: multidisciplinary evidence from the Olympic Dam region, South Australia
Author: Skirrow, R.G.
van der Wielen, S.E.
Champion, D.C.
Czarnota, K.
Thiel, S.
Citation: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 2018; 19(8):2673-2705
Publisher: American Geophysical Union; Wiley
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 1525-2027
Statement of
R.G. Skirrow, S.E. van der Wielen, D.C. Champion, K. Czarnota, and S. Thiel
Abstract: The role of lithospheric architecture and the mantle in the genesis of iron oxide copper‐gold (IOCG) deposits is controversial. Using the example of the Precambrian Gawler Craton (South Australia), which hosts the giant Olympic Dam IOCG deposit, we integrate geophysical data (seismic tomography and magnetotellurics) with geological and geochemical data to develop a new interpretation of the lithospheric setting of these deposits. Spatially, IOCG deposits are located above the margin of a mantle lithospheric zone with anomalously high electrical conductivities (resistivity <10 ohm.m, top at ~100–150 km depth), low seismic shear‐wave velocities (horizontal component, Vsh < 4.6 km/s), and unusually high ratios of compressional‐ to shear‐wave velocities (Vp/Vsh > 1.80). The high conductivity cannot be explained by water‐bearing olivine‐rich rock alone. Relatively fertile and metasomatized peridotitic mantle with additional high‐Vp/Vs phases, for example, clinohumite, hydrous garnet, and/or phlogopite, could explain the anomalous velocity and conductivity. The top of this high‐Vp/Vsh zone marks a midlithospheric discontinuity at ~100–130 km depth that is interpreted to reflect locally orthopyroxene‐rich mantle. A sub‐Moho zone with high Vp/Vsh at ~40–80 km depth correlates spatially with primitive Nd isotope signatures and arc‐related ~1,620–1,610 Ma magmatism and is interpreted as the eclogitic root of a magmatic arc. Mafic volcanics contemporaneous with ~1,590 Ma IOCG mineralization have geochemistry suggesting derivation from subduction‐modified lithospheric mantle. We suggest that Olympic Dam formed inboard of a continental margin in a postsubduction setting, related to foundering of previously refertilized and metasomatized lithospheric mantle. Deposits formed during the switch from compression to extension, following delamination‐related uplift and exhumation.
Keywords: Lithospheric architecture; Gawler Craton; Olympic Dam deposit; IOCG deposits; mantle metasomatism; tectonic setting
Rights: © 2018 Commonwealth of Australia. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
RMID: 0030097132
DOI: 10.1029/2018GC007561
Appears in Collections:Geology & Geophysics publications

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