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2005 Society of Economic Geologists, Inc.

Economic Geology 100th Anniversary Volume

pp. 10971136

Metallogenic Provinces in an Evolving Geodynamic Framework

Department of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, 114 Science Place, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 5E2

U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, MS 964, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225-0046, and
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, 2200 Colorado Ave., Campus Box 399, Boulder, Colorado 80309


Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E3

Thermal decay of Earth resulted in decreased mantle-plume intensity and temperature and consequently a
gradual reduction of abundant komatiitic basalt ocean plateaus at ~2.6 Ga. In the Neoarchean, ocean crust was
~11 km thick at spreading centers, and abundant bimodal arc basalt-dacite magmatic edifices were constructed
at convergent margins. Neoarchean greenstone belt orogenesis stemmed from multiple terrane accretion in
Cordilleran-style external orogens with multiple sutures, where oceanic plateaus captured arcs by jamming
subduction zones, and plateau crust melted to generate high thorium tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite suites.
Archean cratons have a distinctive ~250- to 350-km-thick continental lithospheric mantle keel with buoyant re-
fractory properties, resulting from coupling of the buoyant residue of deep plume melting to imbricated
plateau-arc crust. In contrast, Proterozoic and younger continental lithospheric mantle is <150 km thick,
denser, and less refractory and therefore easily reworked in younger orogens. The supercontinent cycle has op-
erated since ~2.8 Ga: Kenorland assembled at ~2.7 Ga, Columbia ~1.8 Ga, Rodinia ~1 Ga, and Pangea ~0.3
Ga. Dispersal may have been triggered by superplumes.
Komatiite-hosted Ni deposits are related to plumes, where sulfide saturation resulted from crustal contam-
ination. Base metal-rich volcanic rock-associated massive sulfide (VMS) deposits accumulated on thinned, frac-
tured lithosphere within extensional oceanic suprasubduction environments, or back arcs, which were intruded
by anomalously hot subvolcanic sills; hence, their abundance in the Superior province of Canada (thick conti-
nental lithosphere), contrasting with few in the Yilgarn craton of Australia (thick lithosphere). Orogenic gold
deposits formed in sutures between accreted terranes associated with assembly of Kenorland. Diamonds were
created by reaction of carbonate-rich asthenospheric liquids with continental lithospheric mantle at >240-km
depth, mostly pre-2.7 Ga. They were entrained in kimberlitic to lamproitic melts related to superplume events
at 480, 280, and ~100 Ma. Preservation of resulting mineral provinces stems from their location on stable
Archean continental lithospheric mantle.
Decreased plume activity after 2.6 Ga caused sea level to fall, leading to the first extensive passive-margin
sequences, including deposition of phosphorites, iron formations, and hydrocarbons, during dispersal of
Kenorland from 2.4 to 2.2 Ga. Deposits of Cr-Ni-Cu-PGE were generated where plumes impinged on failed
rifts at the transition from thick Archean to thinner Proterozoic continental lithospheric mantle, e.g., the Great
Dyke, Zimbabwe, and later at Norilsk, Russia. Paleoproterozoic orogenic belts, for example, the Trans-Hudson
orogen in North America and the Barramundi orogen in Australia, welded together the new continent of Co-
lumbia. Foreland basins associated with these orogens, containing reductants (graphitic schists) in the base-
ment, led to the formation of unconformity U deposits, with multiple stages of mineralization generated from
diagenetic brines for as much as 600 m.y. after sedimentation. Plume dispersal of Columbia at 1.6 to 1.4 Ga led
to SEDEX Pb-Zn deposits in intracontinental rifts of North America and Australia, extensive belts of Rapakivi
A-type granites on all continents, with associated Sn veins, and Fe oxide-Cu-Au-REE deposits. All were con-
trolled by rifts at the transition from thick to thin continental lithospheric mantle. Plume impingement on Ro-
dinia at ~1 Ga formed extensive belts of anorogenic anorthosites and Rapakivi granites in Laurentia and
Baltica, the former hosting Fe-Ti-V deposits. Sedimentary rock-hosted Cu deposits formed in intracontinental
basins from plume dispersal of Rodinia at ~800 Ma.
Iron formations and mantle plumes have common time series: Algoman type occur from 3.8 Ga to 40 Ma,
granular iron formations precipitated on the passive margins of Kenorland at ~2.4 Ga, Superior-type formed
on the passive margins of Laurentia, and Rapitan iron formations were created in rifts during latter stages of
dispersal of Rodinia at ~700 Ma. Accordingly, such deposits are not proxies for the activity of atmospheric O2.
Rich Tertiary placer deposits of Ti-Zr-Hf, located on the passive margins of Australia and Southern Africa, re-
flect multiple cannibalistic cycles from orogens that welded Rodinia and Pangea.
Orogenic Au deposits formed during Cordilleran-type orogens characterized by clockwise pressure-temper-
ature-time paths from ~2.7 Ga to the Tertiary; Au-As-W and Hg-Sb deposits reflect the same ore fluids at pro-
gressively shallower levels of terrane sutures. The MVT-type Pb-Zn deposits formed in foreland basins, with
Corresponding author: e-mail, Robert.kerrich@usask.ca


Phanerozoic Pb-Zn SEDEX ores localized in rifted passive continental margins containing evaporites at low
latitudes. Porphyry Cu and epithermal Au-Ag deposits occur in both intraoceanic and continental margin arcs;
ore fluids were related to slab dehydration, peridotite fusion, and hybridization with upper-plate crust. De-
posits exposed today are largely <200 m.y.-old, given their low preservation potential in topographically ele-
vated ranges.

Historical Perspective and Scope for; and (4) extrapolation to the Precambrian met with uncer-
tainties as to tectonic processes during that era. Windley
Lindgren (1933) pioneered the concepts of both metallo- (1995) compiled a concise list of metallic and nonmetallic re-
genic provinces and epochs. In the Economic Geology Fifti- sources for each era, documenting their geodynamic and ge-
eth Anniversary Volume, Turneaure (1955) synthesized global ologic settings.
metallogenic provinces. He emphasized different classes of It is now generally accepted that plate tectonics operated
ore deposits, stable versus orogenic settings, lithologic or from ~3.4 Ga, albeit in some early form that likely differs
magmatic associations of specific metal groupings, and the from today, with intermittently more intense plume activity to
role of young mountain belts in preservation potential. Met- 1.9 Ga (Fyfe, 1978; Isley and Abbott, 1999). Archean craton-
allogenic provinces of different ages were recognized, albeit scale faults are commensurate with lithospheric plate interac-
with large age uncertainties. Primary depositional setting ver- tions (Sleep, 1992). In addition, Cenozoic-type convergent
sus replacement was, and remains, an issue. Independently, margin arc associations, including the presence of boninites,
Bilibin (1968) and Smirnov (1976) documented specific litho- Mg andesites, and adakites, in Precambrian supracrustal ter-
tectonic and age associations for various classes of metallic ranes require that arc-trench migration occurred (Polat et al.,
deposits in the former Soviet Union. Other comparative stud- 2003). An alternative precept of Archean geodynamics is
ies of major ore provinces recognized the evolving crust-man- given by Hamilton (1998).
tle system as a control on lithological associations, magmatic Advances in geochronology have resolved many of the un-
style, and types of ore deposits (Pereira and Dixon, 1965; certainties in the timing of both metal deposits and metallo-
Stanton, 1972; Hutchinson, 1981). Atlases of the distribution genic provinces. This constraint permits evaluation of func-
of metallic deposits by geologic terrane and age were com- tional relationships between lithotectonic associations,
piled by Dixon (1979) and Derry (1980). magmatism, pressure-temperature-time (P-T-t) conditions
Meyer (1981) generated a global database of representative and fluid compositions, and geodynamic setting, concurrently
or type metallic mineral deposits, and their age-lithotectonic resolving the syngenetic issue (e.g., Kerrich and Cassidy,
association, in the Economic Geology Seventy-Fifth Anniver- 1994). Based on Meyers (1981, 1988) compilations of the
sary Volume. He formulated the space-time distribution of space-time distribution of metallogenic provinces, Barley and
metallogenic provinces in terms of two parameters: intervals Groves (1992) provided insights into the episodic develop-
of geologic history during which specific classes of metallic ment of distinct classes of metallic deposits as a function of the
deposits formed, and changes of characteristics within a given supercontinent cycle. Geologic processes are intrinsically sto-
class over the interval when that class formed. Meyer ob- chastic, so there is progressive uncertainty in reconstructing
served that trends of crustal evolution were not contempora- the supercontinent cycle back through the Precambrian. Yet,
neous globally but did not cast his reviews in a plate tectonic this framework confers an elegant account for metallogenic
context (Meyer, 1981, 1988). provinces and their episodicity from 2.7 Ga to the present.
The theory of plate tectonics was established in the 1970s, During the last 25 years there have been profound gains in
supplanting the geosynclinal concept of lithotectonic associa- knowledge as to how plate tectonics operates through time,
tions (Kay, 1951; see Sengor, 1990, for a review). Elements of stemming from the heuristic approach of geology as a field and
the theory included: recognition of ocean-floor spreading analytical science. In addition to development of the concept of
from ages of volcanic islands and transform faults (Wilson, the supercontinent cycle, knowledge has advanced on many
1965; Hess, 1968) and magnetic domains (Vine and fronts relevant to metal deposits, including: (1) how evolution
Matthews, 1963), relative to mid-ocean ridges; exponential of lithospheric mantle controls crustal evolution (Jordan, 1988);
decrease of heat flow orthogonal to spreading centers (Sclater (2) recognition of superfamilies of orogenic belts (Sengor and
and Francheteau, 1970); and earthquake distribution at con- Natalin, 1996); (3) the role of mantle plumes and their inter-
vergent margins (Benioff, 1964). Historical accounts of the action with lithospheric plates (Condie, 2001; Wyman and Ker-
evolution from a static to dynamic worldview are given by rich, 2002); (4) transitions in both plume and convergent mar-
Uyeda (1978) and Allegr (1988). gin magmatism near the Archean-Proterozoic transition
Initial hypotheses of the relationship between different (Taylor and McLennan, 1995; Isley and Abbott, 1999); (5) de-
classes of ore deposits and their plate tectonic settings were velopment of, and processes in, convergent margins (see re-
set out by Rona (1980), Mitchell and Garson (1981), and view by Richards, 2003); (6) characterization of geothermal sys-
Sawkins (1984). These accounted for the distribution of some tems on land (Elder, 1981) and submarine counterparts, some
ore deposit types in the Phanerozoic. However, there were of which are actively depositing sulfide minerals, such as in the
limitations: (1) at the time, genetic hypotheses for many types Lau back-arc basin (Ishibashi and Urabe, 1995; Mills and El-
of ore deposit were predicated on syngenesis; (2) where con- derfield, 1995); (7) quantification of global geochemical cycles
sensus existed on a syngenetic versus epigenetic origin, the (Jacobson et al., 2000); (8) seismic tomography (van der Hilst
age of mineralization was not well constrained; (3) epochs, or et al., 1998); (9) precise geochronology (Dalrymple, 1991); and
secular cycles, of metallogenic provinces were not accounted (10) the fractal, or scale-invariant, nature of many geologic

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processes, including of metallogenic provinces (Turcotte, 1992; lithospheric mantle, is divided into a finite number of plates.
Weinberg et al., 2004). The plates are torsionally, but not flexurally, rigid. Plates in-
Accordingly, in this overview, we reframe the space-time teract at divergent, convergent, and transform-fault bound-
distribution of ore deposits in terms of four interrelated aries (Fig. 1A), as they migrate across the surface of the Earth
processes: (1) lithotectonic associations that develop in a (Isacks et al., 1968; Cox and Hart, 1986; Sengor, 1990). Plate
given geodynamic setting, (2) classes of metallogenic motions are the surface reflection of the fundamental process
provinces that develop in those associations, (3) secular varia- by which heat is removed from the interior of the Earth.
tions of geodynamic environments in the supercontinent- The oceanic and continental lithospheric plates, also
cycle framework, and (4) secular change of continental lithos- termed the mechanical boundary layer (Fig. 2A,B), constitute
pheric mantle that influences all of the above. the translationally mobile upper boundary layer of the three-
Evolution of near-surface conditions has also been viewed dimensional convection cells in the asthenospheric mantle.
as a control on the distribution of some ore deposits through The core-mantle boundary (referred to as D", 2,900 km deep)
time, specifically those having elements with redox-sensitive is the lower boundary layer of the mantle convection cells.
solubility, such as Fe and U. Two polarized schools of thought The boundary between upper and lower mantle (D', 670 km)
emerged and have persisted. Cloud (1972) proposed a low is defined seismologically and reflects a mineralogical phase
pO2 in the Archean, with a transition to oxygenation of Earths transition. The upper and lower mantle probably convects in-
atmosphere-hydrosphere in the Proterozoic, whereas Dim- dependently, albeit with episodic overturn, based on geo-
roth and Kimberly (1976) advocated Archean atmospheric chemical, heat flow, and seismic evidence (Stein and Hof-
pO2 close to the present atmospheric level (PAL). More re- mann, 1994; van der Hilst et al., 1998; Butler and Peltier,
cently, some workers have promoted the early low pO2 model 2002). Heat is removed from the core and mantle to the sur-
based on mass-independent S isotope fractionation of atmos- face by this convection and by plumes that rise from the core-
pheric S gases, and a rise of atmospheric oxygen at 2.4 to 2.2 mantle boundary, advecting through the convecting lower
Ga as the redox state of volcanic gases shifted (Farquar et al., and upper mantle to the surface (Davies, 1999). Heat passes
2000; Holland, 2002). In contrast, Ohmoto maintained that from the convecting asthenospheric mantle through the tor-
pO2 was within 50 percent of present atmospheric level by 4 sionally rigid lithospheric plates either by conduction or by
Ga, based on Fe mobility in Archean paleosols and on depo- advection of magmas. Thermal boundary layers form at the
sitional mechanisms for iron formation that are akin to those transition from convecting to convecting or convecting to
presently occurring in the Red and Black Seas (Ohmoto, conducting domains; they are present at the D" core-mantle
1997, 2004a,b). Resolution of this issue is not readily boundary, at the D' upper-lower mantle transition, and be-
tractable, as many lines of evidence may reflect local condi- tween the base of the lithosphere and top of the convecting
tions, and it is difficult to demonstrate preservation of pri- upper mantle, which is also the low-velocity zone (Fig. 2).
mary signatures (e.g., Clout and Simonson, 2005). It is clear Subducting oceanic lithospheric plates penetrate the D'
from molecular microfossils that the earliest photosynthesis upper-lower mantle boundary at 670 km, as imaged by seis-
in the Paleoarchean was anoxygenic, using bacteriochloro- mic tomography, and probably are stored in lithospheric
phyls, whereas oxygenic photosynthesis by photosystem II, in- graveyards at the core-mantle boundary (D"), where they are
volving cyanobacteria, was established by the Mesoarchean sporadically reactivated as mantle plumes. Similarly, an
(Nisbitt, 2002). This review does not further consider the anomalously hot mantle plume, extending into the lower
issue. mantle, has been imaged beneath the Iceland ocean plateau
No modern text on ore deposits addresses recent advances (Bijward and Spakman, 1999; Krason and van der Hilst,
in geodynamics. Accordingly, we present a brief synthesis of 2000). Accordingly, there is mass as well as heat exchange be-
geodynamic concepts as a framework for discussing mineral tween the upper and lower mantles.
deposits. The divisions between geodynamic settings used
here reflect the preference of the authors. For example, we Oceanic and continental lithosphere
explicitly recognize that there is a continuum between domi- Schematic diagrams depicting the tectonic setting of ore
nant plume-lithosphere interaction, where magmatic Ni-Cu- deposits generally stop at the base of the deposit or the crust,
PGE deposits form; through belts of anorogenic magmatism the petrological seismic Mohorovic discontinuity (Moho).
that host Fe-Ti-V deposits, in which plume magmas do not However, the larger context in which mineral concentrations,
advect to shallow crustal levels; and to continental rifting with i.e., deposits, form should more comprehensively be consid-
subdued plume activity, which is the setting for Fe oxide-Cu- ered in a lithosphere-asthenosphere framework that reflects
Au-REE and sediment-hosted Cu-Co deposits. For each geodynamic settings. These in turn control the conjunction of
main geodynamic setting, we have selected the best charac- structures, magma reservoirs, fluid reservoirs, basins, and
terized metallogenic provinces for discussion of the role of their interactions (Fig. 2).
geodynamics in the formation of a class, or classes, of mineral Modern oceanic lithosphere has a ~6-km-thick basaltic
deposit, without necessarily including all deposit subtypes. crust and ~30- to 50-km-thick lherzolitic mantle lithosphere
near ridges. The mantle lithosphere thickens to a maximum
Geodynamics of ~70 to 100 km as it progressively cools with increasing dis-
tance from the oceanic spreading axis, by accretion of under-
Introduction lying asthenosphere (Fig. 2A; Keary and Vine, 1996). Com-
Plate tectonics is a kinematic theory according to which the pared to the underlying asthenosphere, oceanic lithosphere
lithosphere, the upper layer of the Earth including crust and away from ridges is relatively cool, mechanically rigid, and

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FIG. 1. A. Map of continental and oceanic lithospheric plates. Triangles signify polarity of subduction, trenches migrate
in the opposite direction as slabs sink approximately vertically. Length of arrows proportional to plate velocity. Red symbols
= Cordilleran superfamily of orogenic belts; green symbols = continent-continent superfamily of orogenic belts. Modified
from Condie (1997). B. Distribution of Archean cratons and Proterozoic and Phanerozoic terranes. After Kusky and Polat
(1999). C. Thickness of continental lithospheric mantle from Artemieva and Mooney (2001).

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FIG. 2. A. Cross section through oceanic lithosphere, modified from Keary and Vine (1996). B. Cross section through con-
tinental lithosphere, illustrating the thick, refractory irregular base or keel of the continental lithospheric mantle, distinctive
of Archean cratons. This mantle includes subcreted plateau lithosphere metasomatized by subduction at shallower levels, the
source of Neoarchean and Proterozoic cratonic norites. Deeper levels are the residue of plume melting, buoyantly coupled
to overlying continental lithospheric mantle and crust. Such Archean mantle is refractory and thus is responsible for the high
preservation potential of Archean mineral deposits; this level includes the diamond facies. Translithospheric structures are
focused at the transition to thinner Proterozoic and younger continental lithospheric mantle, controlling the location of
plume-related Ni-Cu-PGE and Fe oxide-Cu-Au-REE deposits. Modified from Nixon and Davies (1987), Artemieva and
Mooney (2001), and Wyman and Kerrich (2002). C. Cross section through oceanic crust, illustrating the location of VMS de-
posits that form in back arcs and podiform Cr deposits generated at intraoceanic suprasubduction zones. Modified from
Keary and Vine (1996). D. Age-thickness relationship of continental lithospheric mantle from velocity structure (after
Artemieva and Mooney, 2001). E. Depth-differential strength relationships of oceanic and continental lithosphere; for
oceanic lithosphere this relationship controls the thickness of obducted ophiolites; for continental lithosphere the minimum
at ~35 km controls the thickness of accreted terranes. F. Depth-shear wave velocity relationships of different geodynamic
settings. (E) and (F) modified from Keary and Vine (1996).

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negatively buoyant (Fig. 2A). For a hotter Archean upper younger terranes. The existence of Archean continental
mantle, greater degrees of melting occurred at spreading cen- lithospheric mantle defines cratons (Figs. 1B,C, 2 B, D, F;
ters (Bickle, 1986). According to calculations of Abbott et al. Artemieva and Mooney, 2001; Plomerova et al., 2002), and it
(1994a), Neoarchean basaltic oceanic crust was ~11 km thick, is more buoyant and refractory than mantle lithosphere be-
with a commensurately thicker mantle lithosphere residue neath younger continental regions; its thickness and thermal
depleted in incompatible elements from basalt extraction. structure lead to the preservation of diamonds (Fig. 2B,C).
Consequently, Archean ocean lithosphere would have sub- Archean continental lithospheric mantle is the residue of
ducted at shallower angles from thermal and buoyancy con- deep melting in hot plumes coupled to crust. There is a bi-
siderations. There has been a secular decrease in the temper- modal depth distribution to such mantle at 350 to 300 km and
ature of mantle plumes; accordingly, ocean plateau crust has at 220 to 200 km, with the former characterizing blocks >6 to
also become thinner through time (Fig. 3). 8 106 km2 in area (Artemieva and Mooney, 2001), and with
The continental lithosphere has a 30- to 80-km-thick crustal implications for diamond potential. Younger plumes were less
sector in Archean and younger eons. Continental lithospheric frequent and cooler, so they did not generate refractory
mantle is 250 to 350 km thick under Archean continental residues (Fig. 2; White, 1988; Jordan, 1988; Pollack, 1997;
crust but ~150 km thick for Proterozoic and ~100 km for Herzberg, 1999; Artemieva and Mooney, 2001). For example,
the continental lithospheric mantle is 190 to 240 km thick in
the diamondiferous Magan and Anabar cratons but thins to
150 to 180 km for the Proterozoic Olenek province (Griffin et
al., 1999). From studies of xenolith suites, there is a secular
trend from highly depleted harzburgites in Archean conti-
nental lithospheric mantle, through intermediate depletion in
the Proterozoic, to mildly depleted lherzolites in the Phaner-
zoic. Archean continental lithospheric mantle has a density of
3.36 g/cm3, whereas Proterozoic continental lithospheric
mantle is 3.38 g/cm3, marginally less dense than ambient as-
thenosphere (Griffin et al., 2003).
Archean supracrustal terranes are dominated by bimodal
volcanic arc sequences and postvolcanic tonalite-trond-
hjemite-granodiorite batholiths, whereas Archean continental
lithospheric mantle is refractory harzburgite, with the com-
position of the residue of plume melting. This apparent para-
dox may be resolved if migrating arcs captured ocean plateaus
erupted from mantle plumes. Buoyant plateaus jam subduc-
tion zones, generating composite arc-plume crust, and the
buoyant residue of plume melting couples to the base of the
crust (Wyman and Kerrich, 2002). Prior to capture and cou-
pling of plume residue, subduction caused metasomatism of
peridotitic subarc lithosphere. During subsequent exten-
sional events, and/or plume impingement, metasomatized do-
mains melted to generate the voluminous noritic magmas
characteristic of Neoarchean to Proterozoic layered igneous
complexes in or near Archean cratons (Fig. 2B; Hall and
Hughes, 1980). Those magmas are integral to formation of
Ni-Cu-PGE and Fe-Ti-V deposits. Proterozoic and younger
plumes were not hot enough to generate refractory residue;
consequently, Proterozoic and younger continental lithos-
pheric mantle is thinner, denser, and less refractory, such that
crustal terranes are more readily reworked during subsequent
orogenies (Figs. 1, 2).
During collisional orogens in the Proterozoic and Phanero-
zoic, both crust and continental lithospheric mantle thicken,
and part of the latter may delaminate; hot asthenosphere then
flows under thinned lithosphere, creating elevated orogens,
FIG. 3. A. Plume intensity through time, simplified from Abbott et al.
(1994a). Ocean crust production, dashed line. B. Sea level change through as in the Tibetan plateau (Houseman and Molnar, 1997).
time; the first extensive exposure of continents above sea level occurred after During lithosphere thickening under compression, radioac-
the 2.8 to 2.6 Ga plume maxima, followed by development of extensive pas- tive heat weakens the crust, and decoupling of lower crust
sive margin sequences at ~2.4 to 2.2 Ga as the supercontinent Kenorland dis- and continental lithospheric mantle may occur at the base of
persed. C. Decrease of potential shallow mantle temperature. D. Decrease
in thickness of ocean crust in response to secular change of shallow mantle
the upper felsic crust (Meissner and Mooney, 1998). High-
temperature (Abbott et al., 1994) and of plateau crust in response to chang- temperaturelow-pressure metamorphism and extensional
ing plume temperature. collapse with escape tectonics ensue, in conjunction with

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asthenospheric and crustal magmatism. Delaminated conti- Based on relative plate motions, magmatic arcs are divided
nental lithospheric mantle has been imaged by teleseismic to- into extensional, neutral, and compressional (Dewey, 1980;
mography beneath the Alpine-Himalayan orogen (Schott and Sengor, 1990). Extensional arcs, such as the Marianas, are
Schmeling, 1998). Delamination is in progress beneath the characterized by dominantly mafic volcanism, back-arc basin
Basin and Range province and Tibetan plateau, is interpreted opening, an ophiolitic fore-arc basement, deep trenches, and
to have occurred beneath the Puna plateau of northwestern steeply dipping Wadati-Benioff zones. Given its thermally
Argentina (Kay and Kay, 1993), and characterized the late weak nature, arc lithosphere generally undergoes extension to
stages in the development of the Variscan and Grenvillian form an intra-arc basin or an intra-arc spreading center; the
continent-continent orogens (Windley, 1995). Lesser Antilles and Taupo arcs are examples of initial stages,
The low-velocity zone is the thermal boundary layer be- whereas the Lau basin has evolved into a back arc.
tween torsionally rigid lithospheric plates and the convecting Compressional arcs, such as the Central Andes, lie on con-
asthenosphere; low S wave velocities result from domains of tinental lithosphere, and are characterized by mainly inter-
partially melted lherzolite, conferring low strength. This zone mediate to felsic magmatism, back-arc thrusting, continental
is 100 to 200 km thick below ridges where thermal gradients fore-arc basement, shallow trenches, and shallow Benioff
are high, thinner below normal continental lithosphere, and is zones. Neutral arcs such as the Central American, Sumatran,
thin to absent beneath Archean continental lithospheric man- and Alaska Range-Aleutian arcs have characteristics interme-
tle where thermal gradients are low (Fig. 2 A, B; Keary and diate between extensional and compressional arcs and usually
Vine, 1996). have large subduction-accretion complexes and orogen-paral-
lel strike-slip faults (Windley, 1995).
Characteristics of plate boundaries Arc magmatism varies along and across strike. All arc mag-
Divergent plate boundaries: As oceanic plates separate at mas are characterized by variably light rare earth element
ridges due to far-field extensional forces, decompressional melt- (REE) and lithophile element (Cs, Rb, Ba, K, and Pb) earth
ing of asthenospheric mantle generates mafic magmas that ac- element enriched patterns and depletions in Nb, Ta, P, and Ti
crete to the edges of plates to form new crust (Keary and Vine, (Pearce, 1982; Saunders et al., 1991; Keleman et al., 2004).
1996). Upwelling of asthenospheric upper mantle beneath Tholeiitic magmatism is dominant between the fore-arc basin
ridges is passive, in response to plate separation. In a simplified and arc axis; calc-alkaline magmatism occurs mainly in the
cross section, the oceanic lithosphere is composed of lower ul- central region of the arc, whereas late alkaline igneous rocks
tramafic mantle (mantle tectonites, dunites, lherzolites, and tend to occur between the arc axis and back-arc region (the
harzburgites) at the base, and mafic crustal rocks (gabbros, K-h relationship; see Wilson, 1989, for a review). The com-
sheeted dike complex, and basalts) at the top, bounded by the position of continental crust requires that mafic cumulates
oceanic Moho. The thickness of the lithosphere increases from founder under arc crust (Rudnick and Gao, 2004), with space
zero at ridges to 70 to 100 km at an age of ~70 m.y., then main- conservation accommodated by inflowing asthenosphere. Re-
tains approximately uniform thickness, as plates move away gional metamorphism varies from subgreenschist to eclogite
from spreading centers. Commensurately, the depth of the facies (Fyfe et al., 1978), and the occurrence of adjacent high-
ocean floor increases with the age of oceanic lithosphere, due to temperature and/or low-pressure (greenschist) and high-
thermal cooling of the lithosphere associated with thickening pressure and/or low-temperature (blueschist) metamorphic
and subsidence (Fig. 2A; Parsons and Sclater, 1977). belts is unique to convergent plate boundaries (Ernst, 1975).
Convergent plate boundaries: At convergent margins, the The uppermost section of subducting oceanic lithosphere is
plate with higher density sinks beneath the lighter plate, prevalently marine turbidites but may include pelagic sedi-
forming a subduction zone, and the leading edge of the over- ments, oceanic islands, seamounts, and carbonate platforms.
riding plate becomes a paired fore arc and magmatic arc. These are commonly scraped off, deformed, metamorphosed,
Where two oceanic plates converge, the older and denser and accreted to the base of the overriding plate to form a sub-
oceanic plate generally sinks beneath the younger and lighter duction-accretion complex. Complex interaction between
one, generating oceanic island arcs, such as the Marianas and overriding and subducting plates results in thrusting, folding,
the south Sandwich arcs. Given its higher density, oceanic and mlange formation within the subduction-accretion com-
lithosphere subducts underneath continental lithosphere to plex, with late transpression and associated strike-slip fault-
form a continental magmatic arc, such as the Andean, Suma- ing. In arcs characterized by strong coupling between the
tran, and Japanese arcs. overriding and subducting plates, attrition of the fore arc oc-
Convergent margins generally feature the following tec- curs by subduction-erosion (von Huene et al., 2004). Trench
tonic elements: (1) a deep marine trench seaward of the fore turbidites have a catchment in the upper levels of subduction-
arc; (2) a subduction-accretion complex located between the accretion complexes. Plate movement is driven by the nega-
underriding plate and the fore-arc basin; (3) a fore-arc basin tive buoyancy of subducting slabs, not by mantle convection
between the arc axis and the subduction-accretion complex; (Conrad and Lithgow-Bertelloni, 2002). Stern (2002) has re-
(4) a magmatic arc; and (5) an inboard foreland basin-thrust cently reviewed processes in subduction zones.
belt, which undergoes subsidence and sedimentation due to Transform plate boundaries: Transform, or conservative,
tectonic loading, tectonic imbrication, and later compression- boundaries accommodate the motion from divergent- to con-
driven uplift (Fig. 4). Porphyry Cu deposits form in oceanic vergent-plate boundaries and accommodate translation be-
and continental arcs, and most preserved volcanic rock-asso- tween ridge sectors spreading at different rates, as required
ciated massive sulfide deposits form in oceanic arcs or by plate motion on a spherical surface (Wilson, 1965). Trans-
oceanic or continental back arcs. form-plate boundaries separating continental lithospheric

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FIG. 4. A. Life span-geodynamic relationships of sedimentary basins. Modified from Woodcock (2004). Abbreviations: BA
= back arc, FA = fore arc, FL = foreland, IA = intra-arc, O = oceanic, PM = passive margin, R = continental margin rift, RA
= retro-arc, SS = strike slip, T = trench, TS = trench slope. (A) after Kyser et al. (2000), (B), (C), and (D) modified from Ross
(2000), (E) a composite from miscellaneous sources and R. Kerrich.

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blocks are termed transcurrent or continental strike-slip transtensional to transpressional zones late during orogenesis,
faults. Examples are the San Andreas fault zone of California, Cordilleran orogens generally undergo significant oroclinal
the North Anatolian strike-slip fault zone in Turkey, and the bending (e.g., Alaska and the Altaids; Yakubchuk et al., 2002,
Tintina and Denali fault zones of western Canada and Alaska. 2005). These strike-slip regimes also cause the highly dis-
Transtensional regions are characterized by normal faulting, membered nature of ophiolite sequences within most oro-
pull-apart basins, and dominantly basaltic volcanism, whereas gens and thus a discontinuous distribution to many preaccre-
transpressional regions feature thrusting, folding, and uplift, tionary VMS and chromite ores.
in addition to strike-slip faulting in both cases (Christie-Blick Cordilleran-style orogens may show a similarly wide
and Biddle, 1985; Sylvester, 1988). (>1,000 km) pattern of subduction-related magmatism, as in
the Altaids and mainland Alaska. By contrast, continent-con-
Superfamilies of orogens tinent orogens feature narrow magmatic arcs. In Cordillean
Cordilleran orogens: Sengor and Natalin (1996a) classified orogens, the ages of the igneous rocks young toward the
orogenic belts into two superfamilies, Cordilleran and conti- ocean, as arc magmatism migrates episodically in that direc-
nent-continent. This insight has profound implications for tion as the continental margin is built outward (Sengor and
metallogeny. Cordilleran-type orogens, also referred to as Natalin, 1996a). Ages of orogenic gold deposits tend to follow
Turkic or transpressional (Sengor and Natalin, 1996a), exter- the same approximate spatial and/or temporal pattern (Gold-
nal (Murphy and Nance, 1992), or accretionary (Windley, farb et al., 1997). Most igneous rocks are juvenile in the oro-
1995), represent continental growth via the process of terrane gens; there are limited examples of remelted crust seaward of
accretion. These sutured tectonostratigraphic terranes are the craton edges (Windley, 1995).
fragments of juvenile arcs and ocean plateaus, plus marine Lithological units in Phanerozoic orogens are dominated by
sedimentary rocks, tectonically assembled in accretionary deep marine turbidite sequences and lesser basalts and
prisms; there is typically little addition or reworking of older cherts, as these are the dominant rocks being accreted off the
continental crust (Ben-Avraham et al., 1981). Collision of ter- top of subducting oceanic slabs and comprising the growing
ranes occurs dominantly in an oblique manner, with the par- prism defining the arc-trench gap (Fig. 4E). Addition of new
titioned compressional component responsible for much of crust to a craton margin is also common in a spreading back-
the orogeny. Cordilleran-type orogens are characterized by arc regime, where foreland or retroarc basins may evolve in a
both extensive lateral and vertical accretion above a subduct- region of extension between the continental arc and craton
ing slab. Where subduction-erosion hinders terrane collision edge. These units may have a higher volume of fine-grained
and thus lateral accretion, Andean-type orogens dominate. terrigenous and biogenic material than units in the fore arc,
These possess the arc-related porphyry and epithermal de- which are more likely dominated by the clastic products of
posits that also characterize Cordilleran-type orogens but lack deep-sea turbiditic currents. Importantly, the pelitic sedi-
most other, more deeply formed deposit types that are com- mentary rocks and related mafic volcanic and volcaniclastic
mon throughout the blocks of allochthonous juvenile crust sequences commonly contain volatile-rich mineral phases
within such orogens, as described below. such as phengite, biotite, lawsonite, chlorite, dolomite, mag-
Multiple sutures at terrane boundaries are inherent to nesite, and pyrite, all potential contributors of H2O, CO2, and
long-lived terrane collison. Sutures commonly serve as sites S to fluid phases produced during later thermal and de-
for ensuing economic mineralization. Seaward growth of con- volatilization events (e.g., Fyfe et al., 1978). Furthermore,
tinental margins, with such sutures defining progressive ter- marine pyrite may contain trace amounts of gold that can also
rane accretion, tends to be a long-lived process of perhaps be mobilized during subsequent heating of the marine rocks.
~300 to 400 m.y.; examples include the Cordilleran orogen, During the last decade, Cordilleran-style orogens, as prod-
370 Ma to present; Altaid orogen, 610 to 250 Ma; and Pan- ucts of a present-day style of plate tectonics, have become
African orogen, 900 to 630 Ma (Burchfiel et al., 1992; Sengor widely accepted as having developed far back into the Pre-
and Natalin, 1996a). Depending on the degree of obliquity to cambrian (Sengor and Natalin, 1996a; deWit, 1998). Archean
each terrane collision, these sutures behave as thrust and/or and Paleoproterozoic terranes are dominated by greenstones
strike-slip faults. In many cases, lateral displacement of ter- and tonalites, with minor turbidites; these linear belts also
ranes becomes relatively more common late during orogene- likely formed via processes of accretion at convergent plate
sis or even subsequent to all collision. Such transform conti- boundaries (Kusky and Kidd, 1992; Kusky and Polat, 1999;
nental margins concentrate juvenile crust, and likely Foley et al., 2002). Structural style and metamorphic regimes
associated mineral deposits, in restricted regions of an evolv- in many Precambrian greenstone belts, or composite
ing orogen (Patchett and Chase, 2002). The terranes of the tectonostratigraphic terranes, resemble those in Phanerozoic
Altaid orogen underwent thousands of kilometers of left lat- Cordilleran-style orogens. For example, accretionary assem-
eral and right lateral movements during the final stages of Pa- bly of the ~2.7 Ga Superior province and Yilgarn cratons
leozoic tectonism in central Asia (Sengor and Natalin, (Sengor and Natalin, 2004), including the involvement of sig-
1996a). Major shifts from compressional to more translational nificant volumes of plume-derived oceanic plateau crust
regional stress regimes appear conducive to seismic events (Stein and Hofmann, 1994; Polat et al., 1999), was character-
and extensive episodes of fluid flow (Sibson et al., 1988; Ker- ized by terrane accretion and batholith emplacement that mi-
rich and Wyman, 1990) and may be important controls on the grated in a seaward direction (Kerrich et al., 2000).
development of large orogenic gold provinces in Cordilleran Ophiolites, long appreciated as footprints of Cordilleran-
orogenic belts (e.g., Goldfarb et al., 1991, 2005). Given far- style tectonics, are now widely recognized in Precambrian en-
field compressional regimes superimposed on more localized vironments, with a particularly high abundance of tholeiitic

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pillow basalts in many cratons (de Wit, 2004). Higher geot- swarm. Alternatively, the plumes spread laterally under the
herms in the Archean are reflected by the widespread high- normal continental lithospheric mantle (Fig. 2B). Plume ac-
grade gneissic basement rocks, which, with refractory conti- tivity, particularly of superplumes, is episodic, with maxima at
nental lithospheric mantle, have preserved the mid-crustal ~3.8, 3.4, 3.0, 2.7, 2.4, 1.9, and 1.7 Ga, with one at ~250 Ma
Cordilleran-like greenstone belts for billions of years. Simi- and another superplume in the Cretaceous (Fig. 3A; Larson,
larity in the geologic evolution of Precambrian and Phanero- 1991; Ernst and Buchan, 2001; Abbott and Isley, 2002).
zoic Cordilleran-style continental margins is reflected in a Mantle plumes occur in three broad varieties, as discussed
similar metallogenic record being preserved in metamor- below.
phosed rocks of all such orogens, regardless of geologic age Long-lived hotspots with low magma flux: These plumes
(Goldfarb et al., 2001). generate ocean islands, such as the Emperor-Hawaii chain on
Continent-continent orogens: A second type of orogen is oceanic lithosphere, or hotspot tracks on continents, e.g., the
termed continent-continent collisional or Tethyan. It is typi- Columbia River-Yellowstone track spanning 45 Ma to the pre-
cally marked by the closure of an ocean basin, a single well- sent (Schissel and Smail, 2001).
defined Z- or C-shaped suture zone containing ophiolites be- Short-lived plumes that generate flood basalt provinces:
tween blocks of continental crust, a magmatic arc on the Plumes that erupt through oceanic lithosphere form oceanic
active margin, and deformation of passive margin sequences. plateaus, including Kerguelen, Ontong-Java, and Iceland, or
Collision is orthogonal to oblique, with an exceptional amount continental flood basalts. For the Siberian and Deccan conti-
of crustal thickening, and reworking of the older crustal nental flood basalts, 1 to 3 106 km3 of flows erupted during
blocks (Windley, 1995; Sengor and Natalin, 1996a). This tec- <1 m.y; tholeiitic basalts predominate, with minor alkali
tonism includes metamorphism, widespread partial melting basalts and picrites. The Tertiary North Atlantic igneous
of the lower crust during lithosphere thickening, delamina- province, which includes continental flood basalts on Green-
tion, and commonly underplating by mafic magmas. Depend- land, a volcanic passive margin on eastern North America,
ing on the structural complexity, these orogens may show and the Iceland plume, collectively represent a transition
abundant, high-level overthrusting exemplified by the Alpine from continental flood basalts to an ocean plateau as North
type or limited thrusting of allochthonous blocks as in the Hi- America and Scandinavia rifted apart. The three elements of
malayan type (Sengor, 1990; Sengor and Natalin, 1996a). superplumes, continental flood basalts, giant dike swarms,
and mafic intrusive complexes, are collectively referred to as
Mantle plumes large igneous provinces (Coffin and Eldholm, 1994; Saunders
Pirajno (2000) gives a comprehensive treatment of mantle et al., 1997; Eldholm and Coffin, 2000). All three elements
plumes and ore deposits upon which this section draws ex- are present in the 1267 Ma Mackenzie giant dike swarm,
tensively. Jets of anomalously hot mantle are ejected from Coppermine CFB, and the Muskox intrusive complex of
thermal boundary layers, most likely the core-mantle bound- northern Canada (Ernst and Buchan, 2004). Giant dike
ary at 2,900 km, which advect through the mantle by thermal swarms may represent a failed triple junction and, therefore,
buoyancy on timescales of only 10 to 50 m.y. The plume head point toward a paleo-ocean (Fahrig, 1987). The secular distri-
is 500 to 1,000 km in diameter, whereas the tail, which feeds bution of iron formations, from 3.8 Ga to 40 Ma, is controlled
the head, is ~100 km in diameter. At the top of the upper by mantle plumes.
mantle, ambient temperature is ~1,280C, the plume head Superswells or mantle upwellings: These features have di-
~1,480C, and the tail ~1,700C. Plumes conductively heat ameters of ~10,000 km and spawn hotspots. There are two
ambient mantle, which is entrained into the plume head. On known, one centered on the South Pacific and another below
impinging upon normal lithosphere at ~150-km depth, the Africa, both with dynamic topography (McNutt, 1998). The
plume head flattens to 1,000 to 2,000 km while undergoing African superswell was responsible for rifting of Gondwana
extensive decompressional melting (White, 1992). Anom- from Laurasia.
alously hot plumes, with high buoyancy-driven flux, advect Plumes and ore deposits: All three expressions of mantle
basalts through continental lithosphere to erupt as continen- plumes have a role in mineral provinces, from diamond fields
tal flood basalts. Basaltic liquids from cooler plumes, or from (Gurney et al., 2005) to Ni-Cu-PGE deposits (Pirajno, 2000).
adiabatically decompressed asthenosphere under thinned Hotspot plumes are approximately fixed with respect to the
continental crust, pond at the Moho density filter (Herzberg mantle, so ocean island chains provide a reference frame for
et al., 1983); here they fractionate to form anorogenic gabbro- hotspots that constrains plate motions (Norton, 2000). Mantle
anorthosite complexes that may host Fe-Ti-V deposits plumes and lithospheric plate motions are not strongly
(Cawthorn et al., 2005) and also fuse refractory lower crust coupled. However, where a plume erupts proximal to a spread-
into A-type granites with which Fe oxide-Cu-Au-REE ing center it may capture the ridge, as with the Iceland
provinces are associated (Fig. 2B; Windley, 1995; Williams et plumeMid-Atlantic Ridge. Plumes may interact with conver-
al., 2005). gent margins, such as impingement of the mid-Cretaceous
Crucial to the understanding of magmatic Ni-Cu (Arndt et Marie Byrd Land plume with the Phoenix plate subducting be-
al., 2005; Barnes and Lightfoot, 2005) and chromite deposits neath Antarctica (Weaver et al., 1994). Present-day examples
(Cawthorn et al., 2005), as well as deposits associated with include the Samoan plume proximal to the Tonga trench and
anorogenic magmatism, is that plumes do not melt by de- interaction of the Yellowstone plume with the Farallon plate
compression at ~250 km beneath Archean continental lithos- (Schissel and Smail, 2001). Plume-ocean ridge and plume-con-
pheric mantle but rather penetrate laterally as dikes. These vergent margin interactions cause some of the largest known
include the 2596 Ma Great Dyke and 2200 Ma Matachewan structural and geochemical anomalies (Ito et al., 2003).

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Ocean plateaus with >30-km thickness of basaltic crust, continental lithosphere followed by sedimentation, magma-
erupted from anomalously hot mantle plumes, resist subduc- tism linked to thinned continental lithosphere, and evolu-
tion, and cause collisional orogenesis when they jam up tion to ocean lithosphere. The Atlantic margin, with its con-
against a subduction zone (Cloos, 1993). The Solomon-New tinental shelf, continental slope, and rise, is a typical
Ireland arc has migrated to capture the 120 to 90 Ma Ontong- example. The sedimentary wedge may be deposited at nor-
Java ocean plateau, which is being jammed against the sub- mal, oblique, or transform continental margins. Transfer
duction zone; this is where the Lihir Au deposit has formed faults accommodate differential extension rates and patterns
(MacInnes et al., 1999). Formation of the giant 2.7 Ga Kidd of sedimentation. Subsidence initiates by lithospheric thin-
Creek VMS deposit followed capture of the Abitibi arc by an ning from far-field forces and then evolves by thermal con-
ocean plateau (Wyman et al., 1999) traction and sediment loading. Basins driven mainly by ther-
There is compelling evidence for the influence of mantle mal subsidence are characterized by concave-up subsidence
plumes on conditions of surface geology, the hydrosphere, at- patterns, as documented for aging oceanic lithosphere,
mosphere, and biosphere (Larson, 1991; Coffin and Eldholm, whereas foreland basins have concave-down subsidence pat-
1994; Kerr, 1998). Isley and Abbott (1999) and Condie et al. terns (Fig. 4C; Ross, 2000).
(2001) demonstrated a coincidence in timing of mantle Phosphorites and iron formations accumulated on passive
plumes, deposition of iron formations and black shales, and margins from ~2.4 Ga. Rifted passive-margin clastic sedi-
the chemical index of alteration. Ocean plateaus that erupted mentary sequences, formed at low latitudes, are favorable
from plumes formed thick crust that displaced oceans across hosts for Phanerozoic Pb-Zn ores. The deposits are generated
continents and caused flooding of continental shelves; the by metal-rich brines that evolved in adjacent carbonate units
plumes also resulted in the discharge of Fe-rich hydrothermal and basement (Leach et al., 2005a,b). Placer deposits of Ti-
fluids and the release of CO2 and other gases that generated Zr-Hf are preserved in Teriary and younger passive margin
greenhouse conditions, causing intense silicate weathering sequences (Freeman and Donaldson, 2004).
(Kerr, 1998). Where extension is focused within a continent, as in the
Basin and Range province, a continental back-arc basin may
Sedimentary basins develop. The Bathurst and Iberian pyrite VMS provinces are
The geodynamic setting of sedimentary basins, and their examples of continental back-arc basins that closed; sill-sedi-
lifespan and fate, have been summarized by Ross (2000) and ment complexes in the Gulf of Cortez may be a present-day
Woodcock (2004). This discussion deals only with foreland, analog (Boulter, 1993).
intracontinental, passive margin, and oceanic basins, drawing
mainly on these summaries (Fig. 4). The supercontinent and/or superevent cycle
Foreland basins develop as a consequence of tectonic loading The concept of the supercontinent cycle emerged in the
at convergent margins. A classic profile involves a foredeep axis late 1980s from recognition that the continental masses as-
proximal to an orogen, a continental ramp or outer slope, and a semble and disaggregate in a cyclic pattern on a timescale of
peripheral bulge. Lithosphere elastic thickness determines 200 to 500 m.y. (Fig. 5; Hoffman, 1988; Murphy and Nance,
basin characteristics; transitions from narrow, deep-water flysch 1992; Rogers, 1996; Rogers and Santosh, 2004). All of the
sequences to wide, marine or fluvial molasses facies reflect present continents formed a single landmass, Pangea, that
propagation of the load from elastically thin lithosphere at a sea- broke up ~180 Ma. Previous supercontinents were Kenorland
ward position to thicker continental lithosphere. Proterozoic at ~2.7 to 2.2 Ga, Columbia at ~1.7 to 1.4 Ga, and Rodinia at
unconformity U deposits and Phanerozoic Mississippi Valley- ~1.0 at 0.6 Ga (Fig. 5; Condie, 2004; Zhao et al., 2004).
type (MVT) Pb-Zn deposits accumulated in foreland basins that A consensus has emerged that rifting of continents and dis-
evolved to intracratonic basins (Fig. 4B, D). persal of supercontinents is generally triggered by a mantle
The pattern of stratigraphic onlap (so-called steershead plume, in keeping with Zieglers (1993) estimates of tractional
geometry) of intracratonic and passive margin sequences is forces for plumes that impinge on continents (White, 1992;
consistent with extension being driven by far-field forces, in Duncan and Turcotte, 1994; Carlson, 1997). Sill-sediment
which differential tensile strength causes mantle lithosphere complexes of the Mesoproterozoic Sullivan Pb-Zn deposit and
to extend over a wider area than the crust (Fig. 4B,C; White Neoproterozoic basalt sequences associated with the Central
and McKenzie, 1988). The Williston as well as Michigan and African Cu province are expressions of mantle plumes that dis-
Illinois basins developed inboard of the Cordilleran and Ap- persed the supercontinents Columbia and Rodinia, respec-
palachian orogens, respectively, but the cause of this relation- tively. Condie (1998, 2004) envisaged superevent cycles at 2.7,
ship is not clear (Ross, 2000). According to Pysklywec and 1.9, and 1.2 Ga in which graveyards of subducted oceanic
Mitrovica (2000), some intracratonic basins stem from dy- lithosphere, stored at the 670-km D' boundary, avalanched to
namic topography generated by foundering of subducted the core-mantle boundary, thus ejecting plumes from that
lithosphere. Sublithospheric loading generates flexural wave- boundary and causing plume bombardment under the lithos-
lengths one order of magnitude longer than surface loads, ac- phere (Fig. 5). Larson (1991) associated the increased rate of
counting for both the relative dimensions and lifespans of in- ocean crust formation at ridges and plateaus in the Pacific
tracontinental versus foreland basins (cf. Woodcock, 2004). Ocean with a superplume ejected from the core-mantle
Proterozoic sedimentary-hosted SEDEX Pb-Zn deposits de- boundary, coinciding with cessation of magnetic field reversals
veloped in intracontinental rifts (Leach et al., 2005a,b). at 41 Ma (for a contrary view see Anderson, 1994).
Passive-margin sequences that develop as intracontinental Murphy and Nance (1992) recognized two principal styles
rifts evolve into ocean basins. A typical sequence is rifting of of supercontinent aggregation, which they termed internal

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FIG. 5. A. Secular distribution of collisional orogens and juvenile crust, with supercontinents (modified from Condie,
1997; Columbia after Zhao et al., 2004). B. Secular distribution of mineral deposits, modified from Meyer (1988). C. Super-
continent cycle, modified from Rodgers (1996).

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and external. Internal aggregation corresponds to continent- komatiite-associated Ni deposits (Figs. 1, 2, 3, 5; Kerrich et
continent collision, for exmple, the Alpine-Himalayan, Ap- al., 2000; Groves et al., 2005).
palachian, and Grenville orogenic belts. External aggregation The abundance of VMS deposits in the Superior province,
corresponds to Cordilleran-style tectonics, where allochtho- particularly when compared to the sparseness of similar de-
nous tectonostratigraphic terranes are transpressively ac- posits in Neoarchean counterpart terranes of India, southern
creted to a continental margin. Neoarchean magmatic-accre- Africa, and Western Australia, might be considered contra-
tionary events in the Superior and Slave provinces of Canada, dictory to such a unified framework. However, volcanic rocks
Finland, southern Africa, India, and Western Australia likely in the Yilgarn craton of similar age to those of the Superior
correspond to an early external supercontinent aggregation province were generally erupted through continental crust
that was associated with development of orogenic gold and, therefore, do not correspond to the more primitive
provinces (Kerrich and Wyman, 1994). Internal cycles involve oceanic arc settings represented by the 2.7 Ga VMS-hosting
internal oceans between continents. The North and South At- terranes in Canada (Wyman et al., 1999).
lantic Oceans have opened and closed two or three times, as In summary, the empirical association of mineral deposit
North America-South America and Europe-Africa diverged classes with specific stages of the supercontinent cycle sup-
and then closed in Wilson cycles. The Pacific Ocean is an ex- ports the precept that mineral deposits are products of par-
ternal ocean outboard of the external Cordilleran orogen. ticular geodynamic settings (Fig. 5).
Supercontinents may assemble in two configurations. In-
troversion involves breakup, opening then closing of interior Archean Geodynamics and Greenstone Terranes
oceans, and reassembly. In extroversion, following supercon- Neoarchean greenstone-granitoid terranes show both differ-
tinent dispersal, exterior margins of continental fragments ro- ences from and similarities to Proterozoic and Phanerozoic
tate and collide during reassembly. Combinations of the Cordilleran-type orogenic belts that formed by terrane accre-
processes may occur. The Paleozoic Appalachian-Caledonian- tion at convergent margins (Burke et al., 1976; Sleep and
Variscan orogen is an example of supercontinent introversion. Windley, 1982; Card and Ciesielski, 1986; Friend et al., 1988;
In contrast, during the Neoproterozoic East African and Sengor, 1990; Sleep, 1992; Windley, 1995; Polat et al., 1999).
Brasiliano orogens, the exterior ocean surrounding Rodinia, Komatiitic liquids stem from melting in anomalously hot man-
which broke up at ~750 Ma, was consumed during the amal- tle plumes. Their eruption temperature of 1,650C contrasts
gamation of Gondwana, representing extroversion (Murphy with ~1,200C for basalts. Komatiites are ubiquitous in
and Nance, 2003). Archean greenstone terranes but are rare in Proterozoic or
Phanerozoic counterparts (Arndt, 1994). Together with basalts,
Metallogenic provinces in a supercontinent cycle framework they represent intraoceanic plateaus or continental flood
In an important synthesis for economic geology, Barley and basalts. Given higher mantle temperatures in Archean plumes,
Groves (1992) showed that the temporal distribution of sev- plateau crust would have been thicker, ~30 to 50 km (Fig. 3)
eral major classes of metallic mineral deposits can be related and thus not able to be subducted; rather, such crust was im-
to the cyclic aggregation and breakup of the continents in the bricated where plateaus jammed against convergent margins
supercontinent cycle. Metal deposits related to continental (Bickle, 1986; Abbott et al., 1994a; Wyman et al., 1999).
rifting (sedimentary rock-hosted Cu and Pb) would form At Archean convergent margins, bimodal arc magmatism
mainly during initiation of supercontinent fragmentation, involved slab dehydration and wedge melting, generating arc
whereas deposits related to convergent tectonics (porphyry basaltic liquids as in the Phanerozoic (Pearce and Peate,
Cu, VMS, orogenic Au) predominate during periods of sub- 1995; Wyman, 2003). However, given their high thorium con-
duction and supercontinent aggregation (Fig. 5). tents, trondhjemite-tonalite-granite (TTG) batholiths likely
Superimposed on this ~500-m.y. cycle are variations aris- formed as melts of enriched, garnet-amphibolite facies,
ing from preservation, thermal decay, and subtleties of tec- plateau basalt crust subcreted beneath the convergent mar-
tonic style. The scarcity of porphyry Cu and epithermal Au gin, rather than depleted MORB-like crust (Foley et al.,
deposits in rocks older than 200 Ma is widely considered to 2002). The TTG suite is characterized by a secular increase of
be the consequence of their low preservation potential in Mg number and Ni from 4 to 2 Ga, conferring evidence of the
rapidly eroded magmatic arcs and collisional mountain involvement of a progressively thicker mantle wedge as sub-
belts. Preservation potential is considered to be higher in duction steepened (Martin and Moyen, 2002). Models of the
external (Cordilleran style) than internal (continent-conti- thermal structure of the mantle predict a transition from flat
nent) mountain belts (Barley and Groves, 1992). The to steep subduction at ~2.5 Ga, in keeping with the distribu-
change in style of base metal-bearing VMS deposits, from tion of TTG in Archean terranes and the transition in sedi-
Archean Abitibi type to the Phanerozoic Kuroko and Cyprus mentary rock REE patterns at this time (Abbott et al., 1994a;
types, may reflect differences in style of subduction, nature Taylor and McLennan, 1995). Given smaller plates, and a
of the mantle wedge, and composition of arc magmas, and commensurately longer global ridge system in the Archean
these differences in turn stem from decreasing thermal gra- (Hargraves, 1986), ridge subduction would have been more
dients. Archean crust is resistant to reworking in younger frequent, accounting for high heat flow in convergent mar-
orogenic events due to its thick, refractory continental gins, which was responsible for the abundant TTG (Polat and
lithospheric mantle. This characteristic accounts for preser- Kerrich, 2004).
vation of the prodigiously rich orogenic gold provinces of Similarities between Neoarchean greenstone terranes and
Neoarchean greenstone terranes (Cordilleran-type accre- Phanerozoic convergent margins include accretionary tecton-
tion), VMS (back-arc) camps of the Superior province, and ics, mlanges, subduction-accretion complexes, ophiolites,

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and Cenozoic-type arc associations. The Superior province (Figs. 1, 2C). Sparsity of these deposits in Precambrian ter-
was assembled by diachronous accretion in a Cordilleran-type ranes reflects the same process responsible for the absence of
orogen from 2.74 to 2.65 Ga (Card and Ciesielski, 1986; Card, blueschists and eclogites, or of complete ophiolite sections,
1990; Thurston et al., 1991; Percival et al., 1994; Calvert and given that the upper basaltic sections of thicker oceanic
Ludden, 1999). A few small mlange occurrences have been lithosphere were obducted (Fig. 2E; Moores, 2002; Polat et
documented in Archean terranes (Kusky, 1991; Wang et al., al., 2004).
1996; Polat and Kerrich, 1999), with mlanges indicating the
presence of subduction-accretion complexes. Precambrian VMS deposits
ophiolites, reviewed by Kusky (2004), indicate paleo-conver- VMS deposits (Franklin et al., 2005) form in oceanic
gent margins. Boninites have been recorded from several spreading centers, arcs, and rifts (Hannington et al., 2005),
Archean volcanic rock sequences, as well as an association of but mid-ocean-ridge crust is rarely preserved in the geologic
adakites, high Mg andesite, and Nb-enriched basalts, typical record due to the likelihood that oceanic lithosphere will be
of Cenozoic arcs that are linked to shallow subduction of rel- subducted (Cloos, 1993). Many VMS deposits formed at
atively hot oceanic lithosphere (Kerrich et al., 1998; Hollings, convergent margins under extensional conditions, specifically
2002; Polat et al., 2003). in back arcs, where thinned and fractured lithosphere,
Neoarchean greenstone belts are now generally considered upwelling asthenosphere, and high-temperature magmas
to be Cordilleran-style collages of oceanic arc and plateau ter- generate long-lived high heat flow and enhanced hydraulic
ranes, in which orogenesis was induced by plateaus jamming conductivity (Figs. 2C, 4E). Back-arc lithosphere is more
against arcs. The composite arc-plateau crust was stabilized readily obductible, being young and hot. The fact that all
by the residue of plume melting, coupled to the composite VMS deposits are associated with some mafic magmatism sig-
crust as continental lithospheric mantle (Wyman and Kerrich, nifies a functional relationship to thermal anomalies in the
2002). At Archean convergent margins, shallow subduction upper mantle (Barrie and Hannington, 1999). A lack of sig-
angles, ~11-km-thick oceanic crust (of which only the top ~7 nificant VMS deposits in the Mesoproterozoic and Neopro-
km was occasionally obducted) and relatively high thermal terozoic (Hutchinson, 1981; Meyer, 1981, 1988) reflects the
gradients, can explain the absence of blueschist-eclogite asso- drift stage in dispersal of first Columbia and then Grenville
ciations and rare ophiolites that generally lack a mantle sec- orogens that stitched together Rodinia. These orogens now
tion (Figs. 2E, 3; cf. Moores et al., 2000). expose deep erosional levels, which is ultimately due to de-
lamination of mantle lithosphere (Fig. 5).
Metallogeny of Intraoceanic Arcs Based on rock associations, and therefore tectonic setting,
Barrie and Hannington (1999) and Franklin et al. (2005)
Podiform Cr classified VMS deposits into five groups. Mafic and bimodal
Podiform bodies of spinel are an important resource of siliciclastic rock-associated deposits are mainly restricted to
chromium. Most of the deposits are in Caledonian or younger the Phanerozoic. The former consists of tholeiitic with minor
suprasubduction zone ophiolites. Notable are the ~500, ~460, boninitic rocks and includes ocean-ridge deposits that were
and ~370 Ma ophiolites of northwestern China, obducted obducted as part of ophiolite fragments, exemplified by
during accretion of arc terranes along composite sutures be- Tethyan ores of Cyprus and Turkey. The geodynamic setting
tween the Kazakhstan, Siberian, and Tarim blocks; Ap- is a suprasubduction zone, and such magma-ore associations
palachian ophiolites; Hercynian ophiolites of Eurasia; extend to the Paleoproterozoic Flin Flon VMS province
Tethyan Mesozoic ophiolites, including those in Turkey, (Wyman, 1999). The latter, characterized by large tonnages
Oman, and Cyprus; and Mesozoic-Cenozoic ophiolites in ac- with high Pb but low Cu contents, formed in a continental
creted terranes of the North American Cordillera. Rare pod- arc or back-arc setting; VMS ores of the Bathurst and Iber-
iform chromitite bodies have been reported from a 3.0 Ga ian Pyrite Belt provinces are prominent examples of this
ophiolite in the Ukraine, and the 2.5 Ga Zunhua ophiolite of group.
the North China craton (Thayer, 1976; Duke, 1996a; Zhou et The other three groups of VMS deposits have broader sec-
al., 2001; Polat et al., 2004). ular distributions. Bimodal-mafic and bimodal-felsic group
Podiform bodies are dominated by Cr-rich spinels en- deposits occur in oceanic terranes back to the Neoarchean of
veloped by dunite in harzburgite of the mantle section, or the some cratons. The former represent primitive oceanic arcs or
crust-mantle transition, of oceanic lithosphere from intrao- back arcs; examples include Noranda and Matagami, Quebec,
ceanic arcs. Podiform morphology reflects mantle flow paths. some ores of Flin Flon, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, and
A current model for development of chromitite bodies in- Jerome, Arizona. The latter represents precipitation of VMS
volves generation initially of hydrous basaltic melts in the deposits in mature arcs, such as the Mt. Read district, Tasma-
peridotitic mantle wedge from dehydration of the subducting nia. A mafic volcanic-volcaniclastic rock and turbidite associ-
slab. Hydrous melts depolymerize, enhancing the octahedral ation with VMS formation occurred from the Mesoprotero-
site preference for Cr3+. Subsequent reaction of melt with zoic through the Phanerozoic. These deposits developed in
peridotite in an open system induces polymerization accom- sediment-rich oceanic rifts, notably Windy Craggy, British
panied by precipitation of Cr spinel at ~7-km depth and 0.2 Columbia, or in propagating continental rifts, exemplified by
GPa (Fig. 2C; Edwards et al., 2000). the Besshi district of Japan. The Middle Valley and Escanaba
Podiform chromite deposits reflect obduction of intrao- trough, and the Sea of Cortez, are present-day metal-rich
ceanic arc crust-upper mantle sections in both continent-con- analogs to these two environments in the final group, respec-
tinent (Appalachian, Tethyan) and Cordilleran-type orogens tively (Barrie and Hannington, 1999).

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Intraoceanic and Continental Margin Arc subduction, both of which may result in higher temperatures
Porphyry-Epithermal Systems being achieved in the slab at shallow depths. Normal subduc-
Porphyry Cu-Mo-Au (hereafter referred to as porphyry Cu) tion of oceanic lithosphere results predominantly in dehydra-
and related epithermal Au-Ag deposits are predominantly, but tion and release of a water-rich fluid phase into the overlying
not exclusively, a Phanerozoic occurrence (Seedorff et al., mantle wedge. Fluid release probably begins at the shallow-
2005; Simmons et al., 2005). The majority of both deposit types est levels of subduction but appears to reach a maximum at
occur in Mesozoic and Cenozoic subduction-related subvol- depths of ~100 km, corresponding to the final breakdown
canic plutonic complexes and related volcano-sedimentary se- conditions of serpentine, amphibole, and chlorite, all of which
quences, but this may be in part a function of the low preser- appear to have maximum stabilities at ~3 GPa and 700 to
vation potential of shallow-level crustal sequences within active 850C (Schmidt and Poli, 1998). These depths correspond to
convergent plate margins. Rapid uplift and erosion, tectonic the characteristic depth of the Benioff zone beneath volcanic
erosion, and collision (either with oceanic terranes such as is- arcs, suggesting a direct connection between slab dehydration
land arcs, seamounts, or plateaus, or with continental masses) and magma generation. Micas may persist to greater depths
commonly result in destruction of supracrustal sequences in and higher temperatures, which may, in part, explain the ob-
both oceanic and continental volcanic arcs. Nevertheless, de- served K2O increase in magmas toward the back arc (Schmidt
posits of both types do occur in older terranes, but with in- et al., 2004).
creasing rarity back to the Mesoarchean, to the point that Pre- Convection of metasomatized peridotite into warmer cen-
cambrian occurrences in Australia, Canada, India, and tral parts of the mantle wedge, or direct fluid infiltration, re-
Scandinavia are noted as exceptions; the earliest known de- sult in partial melting to form high Mg basalts with as much
posits are ~3.3 Ga in age (Barley, 1982). The characteristics of as 2.5 wt percent H2O, enrichments in large ion lithophile el-
Precambrian deposits are little different from those of their ements, relatively high oxidation state compared with MORB
Phanerozoic counterparts (Gal and Isohanni, 1979; Barley, (as much as two log units above fayalite-magnetite-quartz),
1982; Roth et al., 1991; Fraser, 1993; Sikka and Nehru, 1997; and high sulfur contents (experiments suggest S concentra-
Stein et al., 2004), suggesting that similar tectonomagmatic tions as high as ~1.5 wt % in oxidized basaltic melts; Jugo et
processes were involved in their formation. al., 2005).
Concentrations of chalcophile and highly siderophile ele-
ments in these primary melts may be controlled by the stabil-
Porphyry Cu deposits ity and abundance of residual sulfide phases in the mantle
Porphyry Cu deposits show one of the clearest relationships wedge source, which is in turn a function of oxidation state
to specific plate tectonic processes of any ore deposit type (Candela, 1992). With increasing oxidation state, concentra-
(Fig. 6; Sillitoe, 1972; Burnham, 1981). The relationship to tions of chalcophile elements, such as Cu, will reach a maxi-
subduction of oceanic crust relates primarily to the large flux mum prior to the concentration of highly siderophile ele-
of water and other volatiles from the slab into the overlying ments, such as Au and platinum group elements (Richards,
asthenospheric mantle wedge. As recently reviewed by 2005, and references therein). This observation may explain
Richards (2003; see also Candela and Piccoli, 2005), these some of the variation in Cu/Au ratios in porphyry systems,
volatiles metasomatize the mantle wedge and reduce its melt- with Cu-rich deposits being generated under normal subduc-
ing point, such that hydrous basaltic magmas are produced by tion conditions leading to moderate mantle wedge oxidation,
partial melting in the highest temperature regions. These and Au-rich deposits being formed under more extreme or
melts are the ultimate sources of more evolved magmas that atypical conditions that result in complete destruction of
are emplaced into the overlying crust and which may gener- residual sulfide phases either by extreme oxidation or multi-
ate porphyry and related epithermal deposits. ple stages of partial melting (e.g., during tectonic transitions
Subduction represents the return flow of materials into the such as subduction-polarity reversal or termination, back-arc
mantle to compensate for the creation of new oceanic lithos- extension, or arc collision; Solomon, 1990; Wyborn and Sun,
phere at mid-ocean ridges. But processes of sea-floor meta- 1994; Richards, 1995). Mungall (2002) has recently suggested
morphism, resulting in hydration and introduction of other that highly oxidized adakite magmas produced by slab melt-
sea water-derived elements, such as S, Cl, and alkalis (ex- ing may also have this effect of sulfide destruction.
changed for Ca), mean that the return flow is modified from Processes affecting the composition of primary subduction-
the original MORB composition. Upon return into the man- related magmas thus appear to be the most fundamental con-
tle, these same water-soluble elements are released during trols on metallogenesis in volcanic-plutonic arcs. Although
prograde dehydration reactions, whereby minerals such as not all arcs or magmatic suites within arcs host economic por-
serpentine, amphibole, chlorite, zoisite, and lawsonite (Fig.6; phyry Cu deposits, few deposits are known that cannot be
Tatsumi, 1986; Schmidt and Poli, 1998; Winter, 2001; clearly related to subduction magmatism or to magmas de-
Forneris and Holloway, 2003) are converted to progressively rived from subduction-modified mantle; a possible exception,
more anhydrous blueschist- and eclogite-facies assemblages. which is associated with a continental rift, is described by
Additional components may be added by subduction of sea- Blecha (1974). Because the exsolution of metalliferous hy-
floor sediment and tectonic erosion of upper plate rocks (e.g., drothermal fluids occurs in the final stages of magmatic evo-
de Hoog et al., 2001). lution, many factors can intervene between initial magma
Basaltic crust of the downgoing slab may partially melt generation and upper crustal emplacement to affect the ore-
where the lithosphere is young (<25 m.y.; Defant and Drum- forming potential of these magmas and their exsolved fluids.
mond, 1990; Peacock et al., 1994) and/or during shallow The simplest constraint is the magmatic flux into the upper

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FIG. 6. A. Normal subduction configuration beneath a continental arc (from Richards, 2003; modified from Winter, 2001).
Slab dehydration leads to hydration of the overlying asthenospheric mantle wedge and partial melting in the hotter central
regions of the wedge. Hydrous basaltic melts pool at the base of the crust due to density contrasts, where they fractionate,
release heat, and interact with crustal materials to generate more evolved, less dense andesitic magmas (by melting, assimi-
lation, storage, and homogenizationMASH process of Hildreth and Moorbath, 1988), which can then rise to upper crustal
levels. It is these evolved magmas that are directly associated with porphyry Cu deposit formation. B. Oblique convergence
leads to the generation of structurally permeable transpressional sites along trench-linked strike-slip faults, up which magma
may ascend from lower crustal MASH zones. Rapid, voluminous emplacement of magmas in the upper crust is regarded here
to be a prerequisite for the subsequent formation of large porphyry Cu deposits by magmatic-hydrothermal fluid exsolution.

crust. If the rate and volume of supply of magma is limited, a regional architecture of translithospheric structures may in-
then so too will be the flux of heat, metals, and other ore- fluence the location of magma ascent by providing relatively
forming components (Fig. 6). This constraint implies that the permeable pathways. Optimal sites are extensional structural
largest porphyry systems will be associated with long-lived domains formed at jogs and stepovers in large strike-slip fault
and voluminous arc magmatic suites. systems deforming under mildly oblique compressional stress
Tosdal and Richards (2001) and Richards (2003) reviewed (Fig. 6B). Although magma ascent can occur in the absence
structural controls on the emplacement of porphyry magmas of such structures, their existence may act to focus magma
in the upper crust and argued that tectonic stresses acting on flux, thus enhancing subsequent ore-forming potential. A

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spatial relationship of ore deposits to such structural nodes, one or the other environment but not necessarily both envi-
often recognized in regional exploration as lineament inter- ronments. For example, Bissig et al. (2002) recently proposed
sections, has been noted in many porphyry and related ep- that regional uplift and erosion history was critical in control-
ithermal districts (e.g., Corbett and Leach, 1998; Sasso and ling the development of mineralized epithermal systems in
Clark, 1998; Padilla Garza et al., 2001; Richards et al., 2001; the El Indio-Pascua belt (Chile and Argentina), which are as-
Chernicoff et al., 2002; Sapiie and Cloos, 2004). sociated only with apparently barren plutons. Thus, drilling
Other models for porphyry Cu formation have invoked the beneath a known epithermal deposit will not necessarily re-
direct involvement of slab melts (adakites; Sajona and Maury, veal an economic porphyry deposit, although evidence of a
1998; Oyarzun et al., 2001) or the role of crustal thickening high-temperature magmatic hydrothermal system is likely to
and shallowing of subduction angle in affecting magma gen- be encountered.
eration and composition (Kay et al., 1999). However, al- Unlike high-sulfidation systems, low-sulfidation epithermal
though these processes may be important locally, they do not deposits do not show a clear, exclusive relationship to sub-
seem to be universally applicable, and a more general rela- duction zone magmatism, and many deposits are generated
tionship to subduction magmatism is implied. Variations by thermal anomalies caused by crustal extension, such as
among the porphyry suite may arise from the wide variety of epithermal Au-Ag deposits in the Basin and Range district,
possible tectonic configurations in subduction zones, and spe- Nevada (Berger and Bonham, 1990; John, 2001; Simmons
cific events or combinations of events may cumulatively act to et al., 2005). In this respect, the involvement of specific
maximize (or reduce) porphyry-forming potential. Notably, magmatic components (both volatiles and metals) in low-sul-
differences in porphyry systems in oceanic versus continental fidation epithermal systems is less clear, and the key input for
arcs occur mainly in subtle details and not in overall such systems may simply be a heat source of any origin. By
processes. Oceanic arc systems tend to be associated with contrast, intermediate-sulfidation epithermal systems are
somewhat more mafic (dioritic) plutonic rocks, whereas con- commonly found in porphyry districts, and either a direct or
tinental arc systems are typically associated with more felsic distal association with magmatism has been proposed in many
systems (Hollister, 1975; Kesler et al., 1975). There is a com- instances (e.g., Rye, 1993; Hedenquist et al., 1996; Hayba,
mon tendency for oceanic systems also to be somewhat more 1997; Faure et al., 2002). A common structural control on
Au versus Mo rich in continental systems, although many ex- most epithermal-type deposits is extensional faulting and
ceptions exist. Both of these variations may relate to the de- brecciation, either generated regionally by tectonic stress
gree of fractionation and crustal interaction experienced by fields (as in the case of the Basin and Range) or locally by
the primary magmas (oceanic systems representing more forces involved with magma emplacement (crustal doming)
primitive systems) and continental porphyries being more or by elevated fluid pressure (hydraulic fracturing). The latter
fractionated (loss of Au) and contaminated with crustal com- tectonic condition is commonly generated in association with
ponents (higher Mo; Farmer and DePaolo, 1984; Blevin and porphyry formation but not exclusively so.
Chappell, 1992).
Metallogeny of Cordilleran Orogens
Epithermal Au-Ag deposits
Historically, an understanding of the relationship between Metallogenic context
shallow-level epithermal Au-Ag deposits and subvolcanic por- In contrast to the shallow crustal regions that characterize
phyry systems was slower to develop than the overall rela- continental magmatic arcs, as described above, much of an
tionship to convergent plate margins. This was primarily due evolved orogen exposes rocks that were deformed and meta-
to problems of preservation and exposure level, which meant morphosed at deeper crustal levels. Crustal rocks that would
that where near-surface deposits were preserved, erosion had have hosted porphyry and related epithermal mineral de-
not penetrated deeply enough to reveal underlying mag- posits are typically unroofed and eroded in fore- and back-arc
matic-hydrothermal systems. Conversely, where porphyry de- regions. The exposed middle crustal rocks in these regions are
posits were exposed, overlying epithermal deposits had al- dominated, in contrast, by mineral deposits that reflect
ready been removed. Consequently, near-surface advanced deeper hydrothermal processes that are active in convergent
argillic alteration, characteristic of high-sulfidationtype ep- to transform continental margins. These processes form
ithermal deposits, was not included in the classic model of mainly orogenic Au deposits, with commonly related As, W,
porphyry alteration and mineralization zoning of Lowell and Sb, and Hg resources. In addition, preaccretionary mineral
Guilbert (1970). Nevertheless, Sillitoe (1973) made an early deposits, such as podiform Cr and VMS deposits that were
connection between porphyry formation and surficial vol- described above, may also be present and hosted within the
canic and fumarolic activity, and later studies, such as those of same blocks of accreted juvenile crust (Fig. 1A).
the adjacent Far Southeast (porphyry) and Lepanto (high-sul- High heat flow and intense fluid regimes are important tec-
fidation epithermal) deposits by Arribas et al. (1995) and tonic features inherent to most Cordilleran orogens. The gen-
Hedenquist et al. (1998), clearly demonstrated a connection eration of Barrovian P-T conditions is typical for progressive
between these distinct ore-forming environments. As such, accretion of a broad zone of radiogenic juvenile material
the tectonic controls on high-sulfidation epithermal mineral- scraped off a downgoing slab, where clockwise P-T-time tra-
ization are closely related to those affecting porphyry de- jectories generate deeper and later metamorphism. Under
posits. However, economic deposits of both types need not these heat-flow conditions, peak metamorphism at mid-crustal
form together, because local details of fluid evolution, trans- levels (greenschist facies) predates peak metamorphism in
port, and deposition processes may favor ore deposition in the deeper crust, such that fluids generated by dehydration

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reactions in deeper crust advect to the mid-crust where they mineral resource potential within Cordilleran orogens. Silica
overprint the peak-metamorphic assemblage (McCuaig and metasomatism in both the mantle wedge and overlying crust
Kerrich, 1998). Within about 15 m.y. of accretion, large areas is commonplace (Manning, 1997) and, as a result, there is a
of the mid-crust will begin to experience a significant rise in consistent association of epigenetic ore deposits in metamor-
geotherms (e.g., Jamieson et al., 1998). The causes of the phic environments with large quartz vein systems (Fig.7).
thermal episode are complex; increased radioactive heat pro-
duction of accreted material is the most commonly cited trig- Orogenic Au
ger, but shear heating, massive fluid flow, crustal thickening, The fore-arc regions of Cordilleran orogens inherently are
ridge subduction, or slab rollback are all processes that may characterized by widespread orogenic gold deposits. The type
add heat into the growing continental margin. Rapid uplift Cordilleran orogen of western North America, which is still
and/or continued outboard subduction typically yields a pat- evolving, may have begun to form anywhere from 400 to 200
tern of inverted isotherms, such that more highly metamor- m.y. ago, depending on how an orogen is defined. Subsequent
phosed rocks are thrust above lower grade rocks (Peacock, to Rodinian rifting in the Neoproterozoic, the Pacific margin
1987). of North America was the passive margin site of sedimenta-
Fluid reservoirs are present both in the subducted slab, as tion through the Middle Devonian (Dickinson, 2004). By the
noted above, and in the accreted sedimentary and volcanic Late Devonian, convergent tectonism began along the mar-
rock sequences. As described above, slab devolatilization gin, with the Late Devonian to Early Mississippian Antler (or
releases volatiles into the overlying mantle wedge. The pro- Ellesmerian in the far north) and Late Permian to Early Tri-
grading accreted juvenile crust represents a significant sec- assic Sonoma allochthons of oceanic rocks being thrust over
ond reservoir, with voluminous fluid release across various the miogeoclinal shelf edge (Burchfiel et al., 1992). Such ob-
metamorphic isograds (Fyfe et al., 1978; Powell et al., 1991). duction of oceanic rocks was not associated with any type of
Estimates for progressive metamorphism of an average pelite subduction zone geodynamics, continental arc development,
are that about 5 vol percent of the rock will be lost to the fluid or metamorphism, and this low-temperature tectonism also
phase at metamorphic reaction boundaries (e.g., Walther and lacked any associated ore deposit formation of significance.
Orville, 1982). Fluids released at greenschist- and amphibo- Cordilleran orogenesis essentially began with the accretion of
lite-facies conditions typically consist of H2O, CO2, CH4, and more than 200 terranes along the seaward side of the former
N2 (Mullis, 1979), as well as relative enrichments of H2S from passive margin post-Early Triassic (Fig.1A; Coney et al., 1980;
desulfidation reactions (Ferry, 1981), therefore explaining the Monger et al., 1982). The exact time of initiation of simulta-
dominance of C-O-H-N-S fluids in Cordilleran orogens. Spe- neous slab subduction and terrane accretion, and thus the
cific volatile composition of these fluids generated during best estimate of the start of orogenesis, could be any time be-
metamorphism will depend on the composition of the juve- tween ~240 and 70 Ma. Moores et al. (1999) noted that there
nile rocks, particularly on the clay, carbonate, and organic is a lack of evidence for such terrane collision along much of
matter content (Yardley, 1997). Numerous studies (see sum- the margin prior to the younger part of this age range.
mary by Goldfarb et al., 2005) also indicate a progressive mo- With the onset of subduction-accretion and the deeper and
bilization of As, Au, B, Hg, Sb, and W in such fluids with in- later style of metamorphism, economically significant oro-
creasing degree of metamorphism. Concentration of these genic Au deposits have formed within mainly greenschist fa-
species in metamorphic fluids may determine, to a large part, cies rocks of the Cordilleran orogen for probably the last 170

FIG. 7. Cordilleran-type orogens are recognized for the widespread distribution of orogenic gold deposits in metamor-
phosed juvenile rocks on either side of the magmatic arc. Ore-forming fluids in the fore arc may be derived from prograde
metamorphism of accreted material above a subducting slab and from the slab itself; where slab fluids are released into the
mantle wedge, mantle-derived melts may carry some of the fluid into the accreted oceanic rocks. The metalliferous fluids
are focused along major crustal shear zones in the fore arc, which previously may have been sites of terrane suturing.

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m.y. (Fig. 5; Goldfarb et al., 2001). The youngest such ores observed in Alaska, older orogenic gold provinces reflect ear-
are the ~50 Ma gold deposits on Chichagof Island, southeast- lier subduction closer to the craton margin. Giant deposits
ern Alaska. However, it is likely that younger orogenic gold such as Olympiada and Zun-Kholba formed in Proterozoic
deposits have formed at depth within the fore arc of the oro- terranes along the southwestern side of the craton in the lat-
gen since the middle Eocene, but these mid-crustal ore-host- est Neoproterozoic and early Paleozoic, followed by ores in
ing regimes have yet to be uplifted and exposed at the surface more seaward regions of Kazakhstan and the Urals in the
(Fig. 7; Goldfarb et al., 2000). mid-Paleozoic, and then the Permian ores developed along
The most significant lode deposits are associated with ter- the edge of the closing Paleo-Tethyan Ocean (Herrington et
rane-bounding fault systems. Where no such major conduits al., 2005; Yakubchuk et al., 2005).
occur within a deeper and later thermal sequence, veins are Significant characteristics of the Altaid orogen (Yakubchuk
smaller and more widely distributed, and world-class economic et al., 2005) illustrate other broad tectonic controls on oro-
gold lodes are unlikely to have formed (e.g., Chugach Moun- genic gold in Cordilleran orogens. First, the immense gold re-
tains/Kenai peninsula, Nome, Klondike). Both exotic oceanic source at the Sukhoi Log deposit, probably of mid-Paleozoic
blocks, such as hosts for the Mother Lode and Juneau gold age (Goldfarb et al., 2001), is hosted by carbonaceous and
belt, and terranes of pericratonic miogeoclinal strata, including pyrite-rich flysch in a retroarc location within complexly de-
the Fairbanks and Klondike districts in the Yukon-Tanana ter- formed Neoproterozoic pericratonic Baikal terranes (Bulga-
rane, all of which were translated along the North American tov and Gordiyenko, 1999). The thermal event associated
margin, are equally likely to host orogenic gold deposits. with emplacement of the immense Angara-Vitim batholith
The oldest gold lodes in the North American Cordillera are (Yarmolyuk et al., 1998) correlates with the major period of
those of Middle and Late Jurassic in the Canadian sector and orogenic gold deposit formation within 100 km of the craton.
Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous in California (Goldfarb et Thus, there are clearly significant exceptions to the general
al., 1998). In Alaska, both gold and arcs young seaward, from observation that orogenic gold ores in a Cordilleran orogen
~100 Ma in the north and interior to ~60 to 50 Ma along the will always be younger in an oceanward direction. Second,
present-day active margin. Typically, the orogenic gold with the exception of this Baikal region, large gold placers,
provinces occur at geologic and structurally favorable loca- such as those that dominate the circum-Pacific goldfields, are
tions in terranes of the fore arc, such as within the Juneau absent. Perhaps this reflects the fact that continent-continent
gold belt and Sierra foothills. However, where arcs are rela- collision closed the Altaid orogen and has, at least temporar-
tively diffuse, rather than occurring as distinct Andean-style ily, formed a Paleozoic craton. This preserved paleo-
batholiths, important lodes occur within an evolving arc (in- Cordilleran margin has thus not been susceptible to rework-
cluding hosts to deposits of the Klamath Mountains and Fair- ing and erosion of significant amounts of its contained lode
banks districts). Where well-defined batholiths have already gold systems. Further support for such a concept is that much
been crystallized and are in the process of regional uplift, of the interior of the Altaid orogen still contains numerous
competent margins to these igneous masses may also host Paleozoic porphyry and epithermal deposits (Yakubchuk et
orogenic gold deposits (e.g., Willow Creek). In addition to a al., 2002, 2005), whereas such shallow crustal levels have
number of small orogenic gold deposits in the Cordilleran been already removed by uplift and erosion from many of the
back-arc regions (e.g., Polaris-Taku, northern British Colum- circum-Pacific Cordilleran terranes.
bia; Humboldt Range, Nevada), the world-class Late Creta- The Paleozoic Tasman orogen of eastern Australia, which
ceous Bridge River deposit in southern British Columbia in- includes the gold-rich Thomson, Hodgkinson-Broken River,
dicates important orogenic gold ore formation, as well as and, particularly, Lachlan fold belts, may also be considered
subduction-related plutonism, may also continue landward an accretionary orogen but with important differences from
into oceanic terranes inboard of an evolving continental mar- the more classic Cordilleran-type orogens of western North
gin arc. The thermal profile of a Cordilleran orogen, rather America and the Altaids. Rather than a series of accreted ter-
than simply a geographic location in a growing margin, ap- ranes, much of the more deformed and metamorphosed sec-
parently controls fluid evolution and ore genesis in the tors of the orogen reflect a single, quartz-rich turbidite fan
oceanic rocks (McCuaig and Kerrich, 1998). Indeed, a similar system shed off the Delamerian-Ross highlands in the earliest
arc to back-arc position characterizes many of the Late Juras- Paleozoic. Ordovician-Silurian orogenesis was dominated by
sic-Cretaceous orogenic gold deposits in the deformed terri- shortening and folding, as is typical of Cordilleran orogens,
geneous rocks to the west of the Siberian craton in eastern but these were thin-skinned tectonic events and lacked any
Russia (Fridovsky and Prokopiev, 2002). major uplift of basement blocks (Coney, 1992; Goldfarb et al.,
The Altaid orogen presents a similar Au-rich Cordilleran- 1998). This difference in crustal response may be indicative
type orogen composed of Vendian through Jurassic units of subduction and/or accretion in association with a large fan
accreted to the margins of the Siberian craton (Sengor and system, rather than a series of terranes, along a continental
Natalin, 1996b). Inclusion of the Baikalides and Uralides, margin (Gray and Foster, 2000). The extensive ores of the
both containing important Paleozoic orogenic gold provinces, Victorian goldfields formed during Late Ordovician deforma-
remains controversial (Sengor, 1993). Tectonism and defor- tion, metamorphism, and subduction in the western province
mation span the entire duration of the Paleozoic. Giant Early of the Lachlan fold belt (~440 Ma: Bierlein et al., 2001); how-
Permian orogenic gold deposits (e.g., Muruntau, Zarmitan, ever, no magmatic arc developed during subduction beneath
Kumtor, Sawyaerdun) continue along the length of the oro- the deforming turbidite wedge (Fergusson, 2003).
gen in what is probably one of the outermost accreted ter- Thrust-fault development and uplift of the Victorian ore
ranes (Yakubchuk et al., 2002). In a pattern similar to that host rocks began at ~455 Ma, with perhaps slab rollback ~15

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m.y. later, providing the main thermal event related to gold such as the Pan-African of the Nubian-Arabian Shield, show
formation (Squire and Miller, 2003). Therefore, the Tasman little difference from younger Phanerozoic accretionary oro-
orogen scenario suggests that deformation, heating, and uplift genesis. Subduction-accretion in eastern Africa occurred
of juvenile material along a margin may be essential to fluid from 900 to 690 Ma, with the orogen dominated by the addi-
production, fluid migration, and related lode gold formation, tion of new juvenile material (approx 80%), and this terrane
regardless of the presence of associated magmatism or an accretion was then followed by 100 m.y. of strike-slip on
abundance of well-defined terrane-bounding fault zones. major fault systems (e.g., Stern, 1994; Genna et al., 2002),
The Otago schist belt of the South Island of New Zealand which corresponds to the onset of oblique convergence af-
may be more like a classic Cordilleran orogen, or at least a fecting much of Gondwana (Veevers, 2003). Widespread gold
part of such an orogen, but also without any magmatic arc ac- deposits formed throughout the shield at this time (Albino et
tivity recognized in the gold-hosting terranes. This Permian- al., 1995; LeAnderson et al., 1995), which probably included
Cretaceous accretionary wedge contains a number of terranes the great goldfields of ancient Egypt-Nubia (Klemm et al.,
that likely amalgamated and were simultaneously deformed 2001), and other important ores along the southern margin of
and metamorphosed in Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous (Mor- the opening Tethyan ocean basin such as the Tuareg and
timer, 1993; Gray and Foster, 2004). Orogenic gold formation Nigerian Shields of West Africa. The Halls Creek orogen of
occurred in the schists during this deformation and uplift, northern Australia, host to the Telfer deposit, is also of this
probably at ~150 to 130 Ma (Craw, 2002). This time is ap- age.
proximately mid-way through the 150-m.y.-long episode of The same style of accretionary tectonics appears to have
terrane translation along the margin of East Gondwana characterized the Paleoproterozoic, as in the 2.1 Ga Birimian
(Pickard et al., 2000), such that hydrothermal activity oc- terrane, West African Shield; 1.8 Ga Homestake deposit,
curred within the actively deforming rocks as they were partly South Dakota, of the Trans Hudson orogen; and 1.7 Ga Ash-
between their original location off the northeastern coast of burton and Pine Creek gold provinces of northern Australia
Australia and present South Island location. (Hirdes et al., 1996; Attoh and Ekwueme, 1997; Sener et al.,
Another variation on a Cordilleran-style margin might be 2005). Similarly, gold-rich provinces in the broad,
east-central Asia, where terranes that now form the Japanese Neoarchean, Cordilleran-type superfamily of accretionary
islands and southeastern Russia were at one time immediately orogens have been documented in the Superior province
seaward of the eastern margin of China and have since un- (Kerrich and Wyman, 1990; Polat and Kerrich, 2001), Yilgarn
dergone significant Jurassic(?)-Cretacous strike-slip transla- craton (Myers, 1993, 1995), Slave province (Kusky, 1989), and
tion (Sengor and Natalin, 1996b; Charvet et al., 1999). The Zimbabwe cratons (Kusky, 1998), where major terrane-
resulting Cenozoic configuration, subsequent to northward bounding faults focused auriferous fluids (Kerrich and Feng,
migration of the entire subduction and/or accretion complex, 1992; de Ronde et al., 1997).
includes rocks of the North China craton now located imme- The span of Earth history from ~1.8 to ~0.8 to 0.6 Ga is no-
diately along the Pacific margin. These Precambrian rocks, as table for the lack of orogenic gold deposits, despite numerous
well as the migrated Mesozoic sequences, contain important Cordilleran orogens, particularly as products of the Mesopro-
orogenic gold deposits; indeed, the orogenic gold deposits in terozoic growth of Rodinia. However, due to the cessation of
the North China craton represent the only known significant extensive cratonization (Archean-type continental lithos-
Phanerozoic gold ores in any Precambrian craton (Goldfarb pheric mantle) on a cooling Earth, much of these continental
et al., 2001; Zhou et al., 2002). Gold ores along the northern, margin orogens were not preserved and only high-grade base-
eastern (i.e., Jiaodong), and southern (i.e., Qinling) margins ment rocks remain (Goldfarb et al., 2001). These sectors of
of the craton formed at ~130 to 120 Ma, during delamination the Cordilleran orogens lie beneath typical gold-favorable en-
of the eastern half of the Archean continental lithospheric vironments, and thus more than 1 b.y. of orogenic gold for-
mantle (Griffin et al., 1998). Delamination of continental mation has apparently been eroded from the geologic record.
lithospheric mantle, mantle magmatism (generally at ca. In addition, some of the Rodinian margins were composed of
160125 Ma), and hydrothermal activity may relate to slab terranes of mainly continental affinity, exemplified by the
subduction from the north and south, and/or circum-Pacific Grenville province (Condie and Chomiak, 1996), which
oblique subduction along the eastern transform margin, all would have lacked the volatiles, and perhaps gold, which
during the Mesozoic. Because these rocks were highly meta- occur in more juvenile oceanic terranes and are critical for
morphosed already 2 b.y. prior to this Yanshanian orogen, ore formation.
ore-forming fluids must have been sourced in either the un-
derplated material or the mantle melts, although the gold it- W and As
self still could have a crustal source. The North China exam- Scheelite is almost universally associated with orogenic
ple indicates that decratonization, or delamination, of gold provinces (Boyle, 1979) in more deeply unroofed meta-
Precambrian terranes during some form of continental mar- morphic environments. Many of the largest orogenic gold de-
gin tectonism may still lead to formation of orogenic gold sys- posits (e.g., Muruntau, Hollinger-McIntyre, Olympiada, Mt.
tems, despite the presence of crustal rocks that were first Charlotte) contain notable W enrichments, with scheelite sig-
highly tectonized and devolatilized billions of years earlier. natures commonly being relatively HREE and Sr rich, and
Cordilleran-style orogens of Precambrian age, although Mo poor (Kempe and Oberthur, 1997). The As-Au-B-Sb-W
more difficult to recognize, also inherently contain wide- geochemical signature, with W at economic concentrations in
spread orogenic gold deposits in, most commonly, green- places such as Yellow Pine, Idaho (Cookro et al., 1988), char-
schist-facies terranes. Neoproterozoic gold-forming events, acterizes epigenetic ores in most orogenic belts. Historically,

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minor amounts of W have been produced from some shear zonal mercury deposits in the California Coast Ranges had
zone-hosted quartz veins in orogenic gold provinces, includ- some type of important genetic association.
ing the Sierra foothills, California, and Otago schists, South Given their shallow level of formation, Hg ores are poorly
Island, New Zealand (Henley et al., 1976). In the Variscan of preserved. With the exception of the giant 400 Ma Almaden
central and southern Europe, W-rich ores have been particu- deposit in Spain, other globally productive mercury systems
larly economically significant at Mittersill, Austria, the Bo- are ~220 Ma or younger (Obolenskiy and Naumov, 2003).
hemian Massif, Czech Republic, and Chataigneraie, France. Genesis of the Almaden Hg province remains problematic:
Recent data indicate that these are epigenetic deposits, sea-floor exhalative, mantle plume, and epigenetic shear
which formed during deeper and later metamorphic events, zone-related tectonism have all been proposed (Hernandez et
surplanting the syngenetic model of some workers (Marignac al., 1999). However, the structural setting, in conjunction with
and Cuney, 1999). The spatial association between gold and Cr mica-altered peridotite, is consistent with a Cordilleran-
scheelite in Phanerozoic ore systems is further supported by type suture (Jebrak et al., 2002). Mercury deposits of the
the consistent association of abundant scheelite grains in Permo-Triassic of central Asia, Jurassic-Early Cretaceous of
many placer goldfields. eastern Russia, Late Cretaceous of southwestern Alaska, and
The spatial association between W and Au in metamorphic Cenozoic of the western United States are less problematic;
belts, which has been well recognized for decades (Boyle, all appear to be products of tectonism in evolving orogens.
1979), likely reflects similar solubilites of the two trace ele- The association of Hg ores at Almaden and in the Dometsk
ments in low-salinity, aqueous-carbonic crustal fluids (Foster, basin anticline in Ukraine, Europes second most historically
1977). However, in Precambrian orogens, although green- productive Hg province, with older, transcrustal fault systems
stone belts can be sources for gold ores, most associated mafic (de Boorder et al., 1995), is consistent with Caledonian and
to ultramafic lithologic units would have relatively low con- Variscan age orogeny, respectively (Fig. 7).
centrations of W and are unlikely sources for W enrichments There is an abundance of Sb deposits, with notably few spa-
in hydrothermal fluids. Thus, hydrothermal systems that have tially associated Hg-rich systems, throughout the Acadian-
interacted with basement granitoids may be critical for ex- Hercynian domain of the Canadian Appalachians and much
plaining tungsten-rich quartz vein systems in greenstone belts of western and central Europe (Mossman et al., 1991). This
(e.g., Zimbabwe craton: Foster, 1977). relationship suggests catchment erosion of the shallowest parts
Arsenic resources are associated with both a variety of mag- of the Gondwanan host terranes, such that few near-surface
matic arc-related, shallow-formed mineral deposits (de- ores have been preserved beyond supercontinent breakup.
scribed in previous sections) and with auriferous veins in
metamorphosed terranes landward and seaward of the arc. Placer Au
Currently, much of the worlds As resources are in different Economic concentrations of Cenozoic placer gold charac-
deposit types in China; however, historically, many Precam- terize catchments of both the fore- and back-arc regions of
brian and Phanerozoic shear zone-hosted orogenic gold de- orogens throughout the circum-Pacific (Henley and Adams,
posits were the source for As (Fig. 7). 1979; Goldfarb et al., 1998). These include the great gold-
fields of the Mother Lode (Calfornia), Klondike (Yukon),
Hg and Sb Fairbanks and Nome (Alaska), the Russian Far East, and
In areas of limited erosion within accretionary orogens, Hg, Otago (New Zealand). The source of gold is in auriferous
Hg-Sb, and Sb deposits, typically with anomalous gold, are veins of Jurassic to Cretaceous age in uplifted Paleozoic-
preserved as the most characteristic resources formed within Mesozoic terranes. Significant Cenozoic placers accumulated
the upper few kilometers of the allochthonous terranes where Paleozoic gold lodes that formed along the active mar-
(Studmeister, 1984; Dill, 1998). Such deposits, within low- gin of Gondwana have been uplifted and eroded, such as Vic-
grade to unmetamorphosed host units, have precipitated toria, Australia, Westland, New Zealand, and the eastern
from the same CO2-, 18O-, N-, and Cs-, Rb-, and K-rich fluid Cordillera, South America. Similar giant placers apparently
types that likely formed the Au, W, and As concentrations in did not form where lodes of the same age, but hosted in Pre-
the higher P-T environments (Fig. 7; Goldfarb et al., 1990, cambrian basement rocks, were uplifted and eroded, as in the
2005). Seismicity along active continental margin faults leads North China craton.
to discharge of such deep crustal fluids at the Earths surface, There is a gap in gold placers between 2.0 Ga and 60 Ma
as along the San Andreas and Alpine, New Zealand fault sys- (Fig. 5). The significant Paleoproterozoic placer deposits of
tems (White, 1967, 1981). If associated hydrothermal systems Tarkwa (Ghana) and Jacobina (Brazil) accumulated 100 to
are large and far travelled, then these Hg- and Sb-rich sys- 200 m.y. prior to orogenic gold lodes of the same terranes, sig-
tems may be important indicators of deeper orogenic Au de- nifying earlier gold-forming episodes (Groves et al., 2005).
posits. Such metallogenic zoning of Cordilleran-style vein Orogenic gold provinces may also have been eroded from the
systems has been suggested by many workers (Kerrich, 1987; catchment to the Witwatersrand basin (Frimmel et al., 2005),
Nesbitt and Muehlenbachs, 1989; Ashley and Craw, 2004). although opinion remains divided as to the origin of those
The consistent Hg-Sb-As-Au association within such orogens gold deposits (Law and Phillips, 2005). Preservation of Pre-
reflects a similar affinity to bisulfide complexing. Lindgren cambrian placer gold deposits is a function of the thick,
(1895) pointed out more than 100 years ago that features such buoyant, and refractory continental lithospheric mantle that
as the trace element suites, quartz-carbonate-pyrite gangue, preserved ancient foreland basins, as well as the Mesozoic-
and carbonate-dominant alteration were indicators that oro- Cenozoic Cordilleran-style accretionary orogens in which
genic gold deposits in the Mother Lode province and epi- orogenic gold provinces developed.

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Metallogeny of Continent-Continent Orogens (4) advection of fluid-undersaturated melts to shallow crustal

levels. According to Clark et al. (1990), the richest granite-re-
Metallogenic context lated Sn-W deposits in the Andes reflect an arc-broadening
Continent-continent orogens, such as the Tethyan Alpine- event, caused by a shift in subduction angle linked to chang-
Himalayan, Damaran, or Appalachian-Caledonian, are un- ing convergence velocity. The secular distribution of Sn-W
likely to be highly metalliferous. Given little production of ju- provinces is similar to that of porphyry Cu deposits, including
venile crust, many of the Au-, Hg-, and Sb-rich veins that preservation potential in eroding mountain belts (Fig. 5).
develop in accretionary orogens do not form during rework-
ing of older continental terranes that already have been highly Metallogeny of Foreland Basins
devolatilized. Also, given the single narrow suture zone in
such orogens, there is a narrow magmatic arc and thus a lim- U: Foreland-intracontinental basins
ited extent to the distribution of arc-related epithermal, por- Thirty percent of the global U resource is sited in Protero-
phyry, and skarn deposits. Continent-continent orogens may zoic siliciclastic sequences, proximal to unconformities (Fig.
be the end stages of accretionary orogens, where an external 5; Ruzicka, 1996). Sedimentary basins evolved on all cratons
ocean closes (Sengor and Natalin, 1996a), such as where the after supercontinent assembly at ~2.0 to 1.8 Ga (Windley,
Himalayan orogen has followed the Altaid orogen. 1995), but preserved economic deposits of U have only been
Therefore, mineral deposits that typify older accretionary found in foreland-intracratonic basins (Fig. 4B, D) in North
orogens are commonly preserved in the trapped juvenile America, Australia, and western Africa. Nash et al. (1981)
crust during subsequent collisional orogenesis (e.g., the cen- suggest that the U geochemical cycle was widely established
tral Asian deposits between the Tethysides blocks and Siber- from 2 Ga onward, with Proterozoic sedimentary accumula-
ian craton). Podiform Cr and VMS deposits that formed in tions setting the stage for 1.0 Ga metamorphic U provinces in
oceanic arcs later become emplaced as ophiolite fragments the Grenville and Damara orogens, as well as the sedimen-
within obducted sheets during continent-continent collision. tary-hosted U provinces of western Texas and the Colorado
Granitoid Sn-W The conjunction of two geodynamic events may have been
Magmatic deposits of Sn-W are associated with granites in responsible for initiating large-scale near-surface U geo-
continent-continenttype orogens, as well as some Cordilleran chemical cycles; i.e., transition from flat to steep subduction
and Andean orogens. Source magmas are the highly fraction- at ~2.6 Ga, and decreased intensity of plume activity since 2.6
ated peraluminous granites of Ishiharas (1981) ilmenite series, Ga (except the 1.9 Ga superplume; Figs. 3A, 5). Archean slab
involving melting of reduced sedimentary facies and mantle melt TTG possess Th/U ratios of 5.8 and lower U abundances
melts. These granites are enriched in the incompatible ele- than younger intermediate to felsic arc magmas, where Th/U
ments Cs, Rb, Th, U, Nb, Ta, Sn, W, Mo, and LREE, and the ratios average 3.7 (Drummond et al., 1996). Lower plume
volatile elements F and B (Sinclair, 1996). Intrusions and min- intensity increased the continental freeboard, permitting de-
eralization are constrained by structures imposed by regional velopment of extensive continental siliciclastic sequences
tectonics (Clarke et al., 2000). Mineralization is triggered by (Fig. 3B).
mixing of saline magmatic and low-salinity meteoric waters The Athabasca basal unconformity developed on Archean
during regional uplift (Kontak and Clark, 2002). cratons and in Paleoproterozoic metasedimentary rocks that
Large Sn-W metallogenic provinces developed in Paleozoic- include reductants such as Fe2+ and graphite. The unconfor-
Mesozoic continent-continent orogens. Prominent deposits mity corresponds to a transition from intracontinental
are Grey River and East Kemptville, Nova Scotia, in the Ap- transtensional basins controlled by escape tectonics outboard
palachian orogen; Xhuashan, China; the Erzgebirge and Mas- of the Trans-Hudson orogen, to a Laramide-type distal fore-
sif Central, provinces at 325 to 300 and 290 to 260 Ma, and the land or perimeter basin (cf. Dickinson et al., 1988), to the
southwest England and Portugal (Panasqueira) province at Trans-Hudson orogen. Collision of the Reindeer and Hearne
~290 Ma of the Variscan orogen in Europe; and the Sinobur- terranes from 1810 to 1710 Ma generated topographic uplift
malaya terrane of the Permo-Triassic (300200 Ma) orogen of of ~10 km in the Trans-Hudson orogen. Four depositional se-
southeastern Asia (Pollard et al., 1995). Granites were gener- quences total 1,800 m of quartzose sandstones capped by 500
ated in overthickened crust following collision and emplaced m of oolitic or stromatolitic dolomite, with three regional un-
in a tensional regime, possibly after delamination of continen- conformities; these sequences developed in a fluvial to lacus-
tal lithospheric mantle and gravitational collapse of crust. trine environment with an aeolian input (Ramaekers and
Prominent granitoid Sn-W provinces of inner arcs of An- Catuneanu, 2004). Sedimentation commenced at 1830 Ma in
dean orogens are Llallagua, Chojlla, and Chambillaya in the the Athabasca and correlative Thelon basin (Rainbird et al.,
Tertiary of Bolivia, and San Rafael and Pasto Bueno of Peru. 2002), continuing intermittently to 950 Ma. Coeval cratonic
Cordilleran-type orogenic Sn-W provinces include the Aber- sequences in Laurentia include the Hornby Bay Group, and
foyle and Ardlethan districts of the Tasman orogen, as well as Sioux, Baraboo, and Mazatzal sandstones (Ross, 2000).
the Regal Silver and Kalzas deposits in northwestern North Two meteoric water-dominated hydraulic systems devel-
America (Sinclair, 1996). oped during extensional subsidence at ~1500 Ma. Isotopically
The conjunction of elements that lead to the formation of evolved fluids at 180 to 240C advected through the base-
orogenic Sn-W granites are (1) siliciclastic sediments from a ment, interacting with reductants, whereas formation brines
weathered catchment deposited under the chemocline, (2) dissolved U as aqueous U+6 within the Athabasca sequence.
input of mantle melts, (3) melting of overthickened crust, and Uranium was deposited where the two fluids mixed proximal

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to the unconformity, where it was transected by northeast- see Cathles and Adams, 2005, for an alternative explanation
trending faults that parallel the structural grain of Trans-Hud- in terms of gas-driven flow). Unconformities developed at the
son orogen accreted terranes (Kotzer and Kyser, 1993, 1995). forebulge (Fig. 4D) tend to be favorable sites for discharge of
This event was coeval with assembly of the Colombia super- metalliferous fluids or mixing of fluid reservoirs.
continent. A second mineralization stage developed at ~1400 The MVT deposits are restricted to compressional tectonic
Ma, coeval with intracontinental rifting of Columbia; a third events of Paleozoic and Cretaceous-Tertiary age. The eco-
stage at 1260 Ma was related to extension during the Macken- nomically most significant ores precipitated in the Devonian
zie large igneous province event; and a fourth occurred to Permian assembly of Pangea, notably Appalachian orogen-
during diking in the Athabasca basin or possibly in response related deposits of the United States mid-continent. Younger
to distal tectonic events, such as Nipigon rifting, the Racklan MVT deposits formed during the North American Cordilleran
orogen in the Yukon, or the Grenville orogen (Kotzer et al., orogen (Robb Lake, Canada) and the Africa-Eurasian Tethyan
1992; Kyser et al., 2000; Ramaekers et al., 2005). orogen (Cracow-Silesian, Poland). Accumulation and preser-
In Australia, the McArthur River foreland basin developed vation of platform sedimentary sequences that include car-
during the 2.0 to 1.8 Ga Barramundi orogen. As much as 15 bonates are fundamental factors in the spatial and secular dis-
km of siliciclastic and carbonate sediments accumulated from tribution of these huge base metal deposits.
1800 to 1770 Ma in a marine to terrestrial environment with
intermittent volcanism. The principal unconformity-related Metallogeny of Intracontinental Rifts
deposits are Jabiluka, Ranger, and Nabarlek, in the Pine
Creek sub-basin of the McArthur River basin. Uraninite pre- Fe oxide-Cu-Au-Ag-REE
cipitated at 1640 Ma from saline (Na-Mg-Ca-Cl), diagenetic The Fe oxide-Cu-Au deposit class has a variety of metal
fluids >100 m.y. after termination of sedimentation, as in the budgets, possibly reflecting a spectrum of crustal depths
Athabasca basin. A pronounced change in the apparent pale- (Hitzman et al., 1992; Davidson and Large, 1998; McMaster,
omagnetic wandering path throughout the McArthur River 1998; Porter, 2002; Williams et al., 2005). Economically the
basin at 1640 Ma corresponds to the timing of both sedimen- most important deposits in decreasing age include Carajas,
tary rock Pb-Zn-Ag and U mineralization (Idnurm et al., Brazil (2.57 Ga); Kiruna-Bergsdalen, Sweden (18901880
1995). Diagenetic fluids advected through the basin intermit- Ma); the Great Bear magmatic zone, Canada (18851865
tently for >900 m.y. (Kyser et al., 2000, and references Ma); the Cloncurry District of the Mt. Isa terrane (1.791.74
therein; Polito et al., 2004). Ga) and Olympic Dam (1.59 Ga), Australia; and the St.
There are several common factors in the evolution of the Francois district of Missouri (14501350 Ma). Variants may
Athabasca and McArthur basins and their U deposits, as well include Slipfontein, an Fe-Cu-Au-F deposit pipelike deposit,
as the 2 Ga Oklo U province, Gabon. These include (1) Pale- hosted by a 2.06 Ga Bushveld granite; the 2.09 Ga Palabora
oproterozoic orogens that sutured supercontinents, such as carbonatite ring complex, sited at the margin of the Kaapvaal
Baltica, Laurentia, and East Antarctica into Nena (Fig. 8A; craton (Figs. 5, 8B); and Kiruna as an Fe-dominant end mem-
Rogers, 1996; Rogers and Santosh, 2004); (2) reductants in ber (Pirajno, 2000; Groves and Vielreicher, 2001). The unify-
the basement; (3) foreland basins that promoted high hy- ing characteristics are enrichment of Fe-P-F and alkali meta-
draulic conductivity in sediments, (4) evaporites in some se- somatism of the host rocks (Pirajno, 2000; Groves et al.,
quences that generated saline diagenetic brines; and (5) evo- 2005).
lution to intracontinental basins underlain by some amount of The Olympic Dam Cu-Au-Ag-REE deposit developed
Archean continental lithospheric mantle, which accounts for within the 1.59 Ga Roxby Downs A-type granite. Lithos-
their preservation compared to geodynamically equivalent pheric attenuation was focused at the eastern margin of the
Phanerozoic basins. Protracted fluid flow was tectonically Archean Gawler craton where the Torrens hinge zone devel-
triggered and generated multiple stages of mineralization oped at the transition to thinner post-Archean continental
>100 m.y. after sedimentation (Hoeve and Quirt, 1987; Ra- lithospheric mantle. The Adelaide intracontinental rift basin
maekers et al., 2005). filled with a siliciclastic and volcaniclastic rock sequence,
Rollfront sandstone-hosted deposits on most continents most likely with evaporites. Basaltic magmas were generated
represent ~30 percent of global U resources; they formed at by decompressional melting of hot asthenosphere and/or a
<100 Ma (Fig. 5B). Key factors in their formation are (1) de- mantle plume that advected into the base of thinned lithos-
velopment of extensive upland terrestrial forests at ~100 Ma; phere. Basalts ponded at the Moho, fusing refractory, halo-
(2) intermontane or intracratonic basins with fluvio-lacustrine gen-rich, lower crust, the residue of previous hydrous melt
sediments characterized by the conjunction of large hydraulic extraction, to form anhydrous A-type granites emplaced at
conductivities, with both oxidized and reduced facies; (3) tec- shallow crustal levels (Campbell et al., 1998). Two fluids
tonic uplift induced orographic rainfall; and (4) topographi- mixed in the breccia: a cooler, oxidized, hypersaline formation
cally driven fluid flow (Nash et al., 1981). brine at hydrostatic pressure carrying Cu-Au-U-S, and a litho-
statically pressured deeper Fe-F-Ba-CO2-rich fluid likely
Carbonate-hosted Pb-Zn evolved from A-type magmas (Haynes et al., 1995).
Carbonate-hosted MVT deposits of Pb-Zn are reviewed Deposits of the St. Francois Mountains are associated with
by Leach et al. (2005a). These workers emphasize that oro- A-type felsic to intermediate anorgenic magmas. The Nd
genic uplift is a key factor to create elevated recharge for values of LREE-enriched mineralization in these deposits of
topographically driven flow of formation fluids through Proterozoic to Tertiary age span depleted mantle to enriched
sedimentary rock aquifers in foreland basin sequences (but values in common with associated igneous rocks, indicating

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FIG. 8. A. Configuration of the Mesoproterozoic supercontinent Columbia of Zhao et al. (2004), illustrating the distribu-
tion of Paleo- to Mesoproterozoic SEDEX Pb-Zn deposits proximal to Archean or Paleoproterozoic margins. Recast from
Lydon (2000). B. Columbia, after Zhao et al. (2004), with 1.8 to 1.5 and 1.4 to 1.1 Ga belts of anorogenic magmatism from
Haapla and Rm (1999).

the mixing of basaltic with fused lower crustal reservoirs and line magmatism generated by decompressional melting of
a magmatic source of REE (Gleason et al., 1999). metasomatized continental lithospheric mantle. Many Pro-
The interplay of geodynamic and geologic elements for terozoic sedimentary basins feature evaporites. Groves et al.
this deposit class are (1) attenuated continental lithosphere, (2005) list possible Phanerozoic counterparts, such as Cande-
(2) basaltic liquids at the base of the crust and a rift sequence laria, with the caveat that these may have characteristics in-
near the surface, (3) translithospheric rift-related faults to termediate between the Proterozoic Cu-Au-REE-Fe deposits
focus A-type magmas, (4) enhanced hydraulic conductivity at and Au-rich porphyry systems.
shallow crustal levels by hydraulic fracturing, and (5) mixing
of two fluids with different redox states. The 1.8 to 1.1 Ga Sedimentary rock-hosted Pb-Zn
age span for most of these deposits is related to the assembly The dominantly Proterozoic SEDEX mineralization oc-
and dispersal of the supercontinent Columbia and then as- curred in intracontinental rifts that developed into passive
sembly of Rodinia (Fig. 5; Unrug, 1997). Their location near margins (Fig. 4), as reviewed by Leach et al. (2005b). Barley
attenuated continental lithospheric mantle may involve alka- and Groves (1992) related the secular distribution of these

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deposits to the fragmentation stage of supercontinents. In the mineralization predated the main stage of Lufilian orogene-
reconstruction by Zhao et al. (2004) of the Mesoproterozoic sis. Selley et al. (2005) similarly report an unpublished Re-Os
supercontinent Columbia, the giant Pb-Zn deposits of date of 816 62 Ma for stratiform sulfide deposition at the
Australia, Laurentia, and India are on intracontinental rifts Konkola deposit in Zambia, consistent with a diagenetic or
that presaged drift, proximal to the margins of Archean cra- late-diagenetic timing for mineralization. Richards et al.
tons or Paleoproterozoic terranes (Fig. 8A). The regionally (1988a, b) also dated rutile and uraninite from late quartz
extensive, and protracted, history of diagenetic brine flow of veins cutting the Ore Shale at Musoshi and obtained an age
these Proterozoic siliciclastic basins, reflected both in uncon- of 514 Ma, indicating that these veins postdated the Lufilian
formity U and SEDEX Pb-Zn deposits, results from the com- orogeny, and that they could, therefore, not have been re-
bination of basin development on relatively thick continental sponsible for original introduction of Cu into the Ore Shale.
lithospheric mantle with the thermal anomaly of the 1.4 Ga Ore textures indicate a permeability control on metal dis-
superplume that dispersed Columbia. Sulfides precipitated tribution, reflected in the concentration of Cu sulfides within
from basinal brines pumped by far-field forces, which were more sandy laminae of the siltstone sequence, with finer
active from synsedimentary times to ~200 m.y. after sedi- grained, less permeable laminae being almost devoid of sul-
mentation, e.g., Sullivan and HYC, respectively (Idnurm et fides except possibly syndepositional pyrite (Richards et al.,
al., 1995). Extensive passive margin sequences did not form 1988b). Permeability in the sediments during introduction of
prior to the Paleoproterozoic given low freeboard (Fig. 3). Cu implies an origin prior to regional metamorphism, per-
According to Large et al. (2001), younger intracontinental haps during early diagenesis, because pore space would sub-
rifts lack such deposits. sequently have been filled by diagenetic and then metamor-
phic minerals (Brown, 1978). An early diagenetic timing
Sedimentary rock-hosted Cu-Co deposits would also coincide with advanced development of the rift
Copper sulfide and native Cu deposits, commonly with basin, involving crustal thinning and increased mantle-de-
high Co concentrations and locally PGE (Kucha, 1982; Hitz- rived heat flow. In contrast, Selley et al. (2005) propose a
man et al., 2005), occur as stratiform deposits in fine-grained model involving secondary permeability development during
clastic sedimentary rocks and silty dolomites within rift-re- early orogenic fluid flow.
lated sedimentary basins. The best known of these sediment- A common characteristic of sedimentary rock-hosted Cu
hosted Cu deposits occur in the Central African Copperbelt deposits is that they are hosted by what were originally or-
of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia (Selley ganic-rich black shales or dolomites, typically representing
et al., 2005) and the Kupferschiefer of central Europe. Iso- the first marine transgression in previously subaerial clastic
lated large deposits include White Pine (Michigan), Redstone sedimentary basins (Oszczepalski, 1999). In some Cu-Co
(Northwest Territories, Canada), and Dzhezkazgan (Kaza- provinces, such as the Central African Copperbelt, the un-
khstan). These deposits are of various, commonly imprecisely derlying clastic rock sequences are referred to as red beds, re-
constrained, ages, ranging from Neoproterozoic (Central flecting subaerial oxidation of relatively immature sandstones
African Copperbelt, Redstone, White Pine), through Car- (commonly dune-bedded), arkoses, and conglomerates; evap-
boniferous (Dzhezkazgan), to Permian (Kupferschiefer) but oritic horizons also occur locally (Jackson et al., 2003). Knife-
share a common tectonic setting in failed intracratonic rifts or sharp contacts between the Ore Shale and underlying con-
aulacogens (Fig. 5; Raybould, 1978). glomerates attest to sudden flooding of the subaerial basin,
Many of these rifting events have been terminated by basin with a switch to deposition of fine-grained clastic sedimentary
inversion, resulting in deformation, metamorphism, and late rocks with high organic content, followed by deeper marine
hydrothermal overprinting (e.g., Richards et al., 1988a, b). carbonate deposits. A link is thus suggested between hydro-
These effects have hampered interpretations of original met- carbon maturation, diagenetic flow of oxidized basinal brines
allogenic processes, to the extent that models ranging from in the footwall sequences, and base metal sulfide deposition
synsedimentary deposition (Renfro, 1974; Garlick, 1981), by reduction upon interaction between these brines and or-
through early diagenetic fluid flow (Bartholom et al., 1973), ganic-rich shales (Annels, 1979; Kelly and Nishioka, 1985;
to late epigenetic hydrothermal Cu introduction (Sales, 1962) Sverjensky, 1987; Jowett, 1992; Mauk and Hieshima, 1992).
have all been proposed over the last several decades (see re- Red-bed formation has been suggested as a key precursor fac-
views by Gustafson and Williams, 1981; Kirkham, 1989; tor in this process, by causing the breakdown of primary sili-
Sweeney et al., 1991; Selley et al., 2005). cate and oxide minerals to render trace concentrations of base
In the case of the Central African Copperbelt, the timing of and other metals labile (Zielinski et al., 1983; Brown, 1984).
sedimentary and tectonic events is not well constrained. These metals are then available for dissolution by later fluxes
However, it is clear that synsedimentary or diagenetic models of warm, oxidized basinal brines (Rose, 1976).
would require a pre-Lufilian orogeny age (pre-600550 Ma; Expulsion of metalliferous brines from the deeper parts of
Porada and Berhorst, 2000), whereas an epigenetic model sedimentary basins is recognized to be an essential part of the
would suggest an early or syn-Lufilian age, because the ores ore-forming process, not only of sedimentary rock-hosted Cu
are clearly deformed by this orogenic event. Richards et al. deposits but also of other sedimentary rock-hosted base metal
(1988a) obtained a two-stage Pb-Pb model age for least re- deposits such as MVT and SEDEX Pb-Zn deposits (Cathles
crystallized Cu-Fe sulfides from the Musoshi deposit of 645 and Adams, 2005; Leach et al., 2005a). The different metal
15 Ma, which was interpreted either to reflect the timing of inventory of these deposits, but otherwise similar environ-
Cu introduction into the Ore Shale, or isotopic disturbance of ments of formation within intracratonic sedimentary basins,
preexisting sulfides. Either explanation indicates that primary may reflect simply the dominant composition of sedimentary

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rocks. For example, Sverjensky (1989) has suggested that Pb- plateaus and islands (Windley, 1995; Chandler and Christie,
and Zn-rich deposits form where brines have flowed predom- 1996; Follmi, 1996; Ilyin, 1998).
inantly through sandstone and carbonate aquifers, respec-
tively, whereas Cu-rich deposits form where aquifers contain Placer Ti-Zr-Hf
a significant amount of immature sediments, such as red-bed Economically the most significant placer deposits of tita-
arkoses. The high Co contents of some Central African Cu nium minerals (Garnett and Bassett, 2005) and zircon, in ter-
deposits may reflect leaching from mafic materials, either ranes associated with gemstones, are those of eastern and
present as clastic components in the arkosic sediments or sills Western Australia, South Africa, southwestern India, and the
deep within the sedimentary sequence (Annels and Sim- southeastern United States. An economic example is the <5
monds, 1984). Ma beach sands of the Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia.
The onset of basin inversion is commonly regarded as an im- This plain is bounded to the east by the Darling fault scarp,
portant tectonic driving force for fluid flow, resulting in high linked to the dispersal of Pangea at ~230 Ma. Zircon age pop-
fluid pressures in deeper parts of the basin that force fluids to ulations in the beach sands and Cretaceous siliciclastic rocks
escape by percolation through normally impermeable shale of the Perth basin are both 1.3 to 1.1 Ga and 600 to 500 Ma.
horizons, thereby bringing oxidized metalliferous brines into di- The catchment is thought to be Pan-African terranes, such as
rect contact with reductants in these shales (Cathles and Adams, those of the Albany-Fraser or Pinjarra orogens, involved in
2005). Metal deposition as sulfides also requires a source of re- welding the Australian, Antarctic, and Indian continents into
duced sulfur, which may be generated by in situ reduction of Pangea. Those orogens are interpreted to have been formerly
sulfate carried by the same brines (McGowan et al., 2003). located to the west, possibly partially in India prior to sub-
The formation of sedimentary rock-hosted Cu deposits, like duction under Asia. Titanium minerals and zircon were con-
other sedimentary basin-hosted base metal deposits, may thus centrated during recycling of the Cretaceous sedimentary
be seen as part of the larger supercontinent cycle, forming rocks (Freeman and Donaldson, 2004, and references
during the early stages of rifting (Raybould, 1978; Barley and therein). Tertiary equivalents are present on the western pas-
Groves, 1992; Titley, 1993). Successful rifting will generate a sive margin of South Africa, which are sourced in the Meso-
new ocean basin, with the original rift sediments forming part proterozoic Namaqua province (Macdonald et al., 1997).
of a passive margin sequence. However, such sequences are
either currently submarine, or have been caught up in and Sedimentary rock-hosted Pb-Zn
potentially destroyed by later collisional events, and are Neoproterozoic-Phanerozoic sedimentary rock-hosted Pb-
therefore either inaccessible to, or of low potential for, explo- Zn deposits, in contrast to older Proterozoic examples, are re-
ration. In contrast, failed rifts have high preservation poten- stricted to Atlantic-type passive margins (Leach et al., 2005a,
tial within stable continental interiors and are thus the most b). An essential factor in evolving ore-forming brines is the
prospective regions for discovery of economic deposits. presence of sabka sediments within carbonate platforms, as
has been suggested for the Red Dog deposit, Alaska. Most
Passive Margins SEDEX deposits formed within 30 of the paleoequator
(Leach et al., 2004, 2005a, b).
Most sedimentary phosphate deposits accumulated on the Metallogeny of Anorogenic Magmatic Belts
continental shelves of the western margins of continents and
in passive margin marine settings, within 45 of paleoequa- Rapakivi Sn
tors. Deposition occurred in zones of high bioproductivity More than 70 percent of Proterozoic anorogenic magma-
from upwelling of cold polar currents moving toward the tism occurs in a 5,000-km-long belt, which is 1,000 km wide,
equator in oceanic gyres. Ocean basins ~3,000 km wide are extending from southern California through Labrador to the
required for gyres, implying deposition of phosphate 15 to 20 Svecofennides. Windley (1995) recognized six stages in the
m.y. after rifting. Deposits may also form on east-facing pas- assembly and dispersal of the Mesoproterozoic superconti-
sive margins, such as in the Miocene basin of Florida (Fig. nent Columbia and subsequent formation of the Grenville
4C; Chandler and Christie, 1996). orogen: (1) accretion of arc terranes of the Yavapai, Central
Significant phosphorite units were deposited as the first ex- Plains, Penokean, and Svecofennide provinces from 1.9 to 1.8
tensive passive margins developed during dispersal of the su- Ga; (2) minimum melts of hydrated and accreted terranes to
percontinent Kenorland at ~2.4 to 2.2 Ga (Fig. 5). Examples generate 1.85 to 1.81 Ga granites; (3) melting of overthick-
are units in the 1.95 to 1.85 Ga Animikie Group in Minnesota ened lower crust that yielded vapor-poor nonminimum melts,
and in the 2.0 Ga Trans-Amazonian Central Guiana belt, Suri- such as the 1.8 Ga Svecofennian granites, and lamprophyres
name. Major phosphate accumulations became widespread from enriched domains of mantle wedge; (4) delamination of
on passive margins (e.g., Russian platform) following breakup overthickened continental lithospheric mantle replaced by
of the supercontinent Rodinia at ~600 to 500 Ma, which hot asthenosphere, which generated 1.75 to 1.55 Ga anoro-
marked the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian boundary. The largest genic Rapakivi granites from lower crust and gabbros from as-
deposit is the Permian (300251 Ma) Posphoria Formation, thenosphere melts; (5) plume activity that thinned and frag-
Montana and Idaho, deposited on the western margin of late mented the supercontinent at ~1.3 Ga, with basaltic liquids
Paleozoic Pangea in an epicratonic sea. These deposits are as- ponding at the Moho density filter, fractionating to anorthosite-
sociated with global sea-level high stands linked to maxima of gabbro complexes; and (6) the Grenville ocean opened and
plume or ocean-ridge activity. Phosphates also occur on ocean closed in an Alpine-Himalayan-type orogen, leaving remnants

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of anorogenic Rapakivi granites and anorthosites (Fig. 8B; global superplume event (Fig. 3A; Isley and Abbott, 1999; Pi-
Windley, 1995, figs. 15.2, 15.3; Karlstrom et al., 2001). rajno, 2000). The Great Dyke, emplaced at 2050 Ma, repre-
Rapakivi granites are anorogenic A-type granites, a mem- sents extension in the Zimbabwe craton, following amalgama-
ber of bimodal gabbro-anorthosite and granitoid complexes tion of the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe cratons. The 2060 to 2050
(Frost et al., 2002). Most Rapakivi provinces formed from 1.6 Ma Bushveld Intrusive Complex was emplaced proximal to
to 1.0 Ga, with a tectonic setting of a mantle plume imping- the Murchison-Thabuzimbi lineament that also controlled
ing on thinned, incipiently rifted continental lithosphere or the architecture of the intracratonic Transvaal sedimentary
upwelling of asthenosphere following extensional collapse, as basin. These African cratons were possibly adjacent to the
in the Basin and Range province. Rapakivi granites are melts Antarctic and Pilbara cratons at ~2.5 to 2.2 Ga (Pirajno,
of residual lower crust and are relatively anhydrous and re- 2000). The intrusive complexes are likely an early stage of the
duced; accordingly, they crystallized at shallow crustal levels. 1.9 Ga superplume (Fig. 3A). In the Great Dyke and
Tin deposits with Be, W, Zn, and Cu are present in late-stage Bushveld Intrusive Complex, oxide ores of Cr, Ti, Fe, and V
differentiates of 1.7 to 1.5 Ga Rapakivi granite complexes of and sulfide ores of Ni, Cu, Co, and PGE were associated with
Fennoscandia, Missouri, and Brazil (Haapala and Rm, ultramafic liquids possessing high Mg number but low in-
1999; Pirajno, 2005). compatible element abundances (Pirajno, 2000, 2005). Given
the constraint on depth of plume decompressional melting
Anorthosite Fe-Ti-V imposed by the thick continental lithospheric mantle,
Dominantly Mesoproterozoic in age, these deposits are Archean intrusive complexes such as the Bushveld may either
within layered or massive anorthosite-gabbro complexes (Fig. reflect lateral flow of plume melts into the craton or, alterna-
5). Plume-related basalts ponded at the Moho density filter tively, hotter Archean plumes melted at greater depths (Xie et
where there was extensive fractional crystallization of plagio- al., 1993).
clase. Associated magmas are jotunites and monzonorites that Critical factors for transition metal ores in ultramafic to
are rich in Fe, Ti, V, and P; apatite suppresses crystallization mafic magmatic bodies are an increase of SiO2 content to in-
of magnetite, resulting in immiscible Fe-rich evolved liquids. duce S saturation and open-system conditions. Increase of
Orebodies are cumulus layers or discordant bodies of Fe and SiO2 content of the parental liquid occurs either by assimila-
Ti oxides, the latter crystallizing from immiscible liquids. tion of crustal rocks or by mixing with noritic melts (Fig. 2B).
Prominent examples are Kiglapait, Canada; Smaalands- In an open system, sulfides equilibrate with successive pulses
Taberg, Sweden; and Kachkanar-Kusinskoye, Russia (Gross and of melts or by mixing of melts. Many Archean and Proterozoic
Scoates, 1996). In the southern hemisphere, a 300-km-long belt mafic-ultramafic intrusive complexes have vast quantities of
between Angola and Namibia includes the 2.0 Ga Kunene In- norites. Norites are not evolved, or crustally contaminated,
trusive Complex with an Fe-Ti-V province (Pirajno et al., 2004). tholeiitic basalts. Intriguingly, these intracontinental norites
The narrow secular duration for massif anorthosites and feature incompatible element enrichment in conjunction
their associated Fe-Ti-V accumulations is readily accounted with depletions of Nb-Ta, the characteristics of convergent
for by plume-continental lithospheric mantle interactions. margin mafic magmas (Hall and Hughes, 1990; Pearce and
Plumes impinging on thick Archean continental lithospheric Peate, 1995). Some intrusive complexes have units with U-
mantle did not undergo decompressional melting. After the shaped REE patterns compositionally akin to Phanerozoic
1.9 Ga superplume event, mantle plume activity waned but boninites and recent boninites of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc
was sufficiently hot during dispersal of the Mesoproterozoic (Stern et al., 1991; Taylor et al., 1994). Shallower mantle
supercontinent to evolve large quantities of basalts under ex- lithosphere of Archean terranes acquired a subduction zone
tended post-Archean continental lithospheric mantle. Shear- signature in subcreted normal oceanic and ocean plateau
wave splitting is greatest at the margins of Archean continen- lithosphere during accretionary assembly of the terranes into
tal lithospheric mantle, and Vp and Vp/Vs ratios of the cratons. Subsequently, the deep residue of plume melting
Grenville are consistent with 20-km-thick, plagioclase-rich coupled buoyantly to form the deeper continental lithos-
lower crust (Musachio and Mooney, 2002; Sleep et al., 2002). pheric mantle (Wyman et al., 2002; Schmitz et al., 2004),
which later remelted at shallower depths by decompression
Plume-Continental Lithosphere Interaction during extension and/or plume impingement. This generated
intracratonic norites with a subduction signature and allowed
Magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE and stratiform chromite mixing of plume material with high Si norite liquids in layered
Three types of Ni-Cu sulfide and PGE deposits are recog- complexes (Fig. 2B).
nized (Arndt et al., 2005; Barnes and Lightfoot, 2005; Other well-documented examples of magmatic Ni-, Cu-,
Cawthorne et al., 2005): (1) Ni-Cu sulfide accumulations as and Co-bearing sulfide deposits stemming from plume im-
part of ultramafic-mafic intrusive complexes and continental pingement on incipiently rifted lithosphere are discussed
flood basalts (CFB) within intracontinental rifts, with Ni/Cu below. In the circum-Superior craton belt, Ni sulfide deposits
ratios <1; (2) komatiite-hosted deposits with Ni/Cu ratios in Manitoba occur at the cratonic margin, in ~1.8 Ga sills
generally >10; and (3) tholeiitic intrusions in greenstone compositionally evolved from dunite to pyroxenite, which are
terranes or along translithospheric faults characterized by an expression of the ~1.9 Ga superplume event (Fig. 3A;
Ni/Cu ratios of 2 to 3 (Naldrett, 1989; Eckstrand, 1996). All Condie et al., 2001). The 1850 Ma Sudbury igneous complex
three reflect plume-lithosphere interaction (Fig. 2B). is located at the boundary between the Archean Superior cra-
The Stillwater Complex, Montana, with chromite and Ni- ton and Proterozoic Southern province. Large volumes of
Cu sulfide domains, is an intrusive expression of the 2.7 Ga norite are present, hosting Cu-, Ni-, and Co-bearing sulfides

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with significant PGE. Crustal melting was induced by a me- in Paleoproterozoic counterparts of Finland and Russia (Nal-
teorite inpact (Barnes and Lightfoot, 2005), so this igneous drett, 1989; Ekstrand, 1996). Their common secular distribu-
complex is an exception to the association of magmatic Ni-Cu tion with komatiite-hosted deposits is consistent with plume
sulfide ores with mantle plumes. In the Neoproterozoic, Ni- magmas advecting into an arc, back-arc, or sub-continental
Cu sulfide deposits occur in (1) the 1.1 Ga Duluth complex of flood basalt setting.
the mid-continent rift associated with the Keweenawan large Magmatic Ni-Cu-Co sulfide deposits at Voiseys Bay, New-
igneous province; (2) the 1.1 Ga Coppermine large igneous foundland, are sited on the 1.8 Ga translithospheric suture
province of the Northwest Territories, with the Muskox in- between the Archean Nain and Paleoproterozoic Churchill
trusive complex; and (3) the Jinchuan deposit, China, which provinces. Troctolite magmas, likely part of the 1350 to 1290
occurs in ultramafic bodies that intruded translithospheric Ma anorogenic Nain Plutonic Complex, intruded the suture
faults at the southwestern margin of the North China craton. at 1.3 Ga, coeval with dispersal of the supercontinent Colum-
Deposits of the Insizwa complex, South Africa, are associated bia, triggered by a mantle plume. Interaction with graphite-
with the Karoo large igneous province and formed at 200 to bearing paragneisses of the host terrane by assimilation and
180 Ma; impingement of the ancestral Iceland plume on Lau- fractional crystallization added Si, K, Na, and S to the trocto-
rentia-Baltica induced their rifting, as part of the Tertiary lites, triggering S saturation and segregation of immiscible
North Atlantic large igneous province. In Greenland, the 55 sulfide liquids (Eckstrand, 1996; Naldrett and Ripley, 2001).
Ma Skaergaard intrusion, hosting PGE-Au deposits, is a relict In summary, magmatic Ni deposits have the same secular dis-
of that plume-lithosphere interaction (Fig. 3A; Saunders et tribution as mantle plumes.
al., 1997; Pirajno, 2000). Economic stratiform chromite deposits are all Archean or
Magmatic Ni-Cu-Co-PGE deposits in the Norilsk-Talnakh Paleoproterozoic in age. The largest deposits are Selukwe, in
metallogenic province have clearcut expressions of the cou- the 3420 Ma Sebakwian sequence of the Zimbabwe craton;
pled geodynamic and magmatic elements that are associated Kemi in Finland (2444 Ma); and Campo Formoso in Brazil
with this deposit type. The province is sited at the edge of the (2000 Ma). All involve plumes interacting with Archean con-
Siberian craton, where the transition from thick (Archean) to tinental lithospheric mantle (Fig. 2B; Duke, 1996b). Strati-
thinner continental lithospheric mantle guided the location of form chromite in the Neoarchean Bird River Sill, Manitoba,
the regional, translithospheric Kharayelakh fault. Incipient and Big Trout Lake intrusion, Ontario, appear to be the result
rifting created intracontinental basins between the Siberian, of plume-related intrusions emplaced into Archean green-
eastern European, and Taimyr cratons. Impingement of a stone terranes (Duke, 1966b). Crystallization of chromite was
plume at 250 Ma near the failed triple junction led to exten- triggered by mixing of a high Mg primitive melt with SiO2-
sive decompressional melting under thin continental lithos- rich norites, raising the Si activity in the former.
pheric mantle, and plume magmas erupted onto a Devonian
epicontinental sedimentary sequence generating 3.5-km- Diamonds
thick continental flood basalts. Tholeiitic basalts are preva- Diamonds form by reaction of asthenospheric carbonatitic
lent, with minor alkali basalts and picrites indicating melting liquids with peridotite (p-type) and eclogite (e-type) of deep,
in an anomalously hot plume tail. Assimilation of low S conti- mostly Archean, continental lithospheric mantle (Gurney et
nental crust led to increase of SiO2 content and S saturation al., 2005). Accordingly, ages of inclusions in diamonds span
of basaltic melts, with gravitational accumulation of magmatic 3.3 Ga to Mesoproterozoic (Fig. 2B; Kirkley et al., 1991). Car-
sulfides that partitioned Ni-Cu-PGE from multiple pulses bon is introduced into the continental lithospheric mantle
through open-system magma conduits. More than 12 Gt of S both from deep asthenospheric fluids and from subducted
entered the system from stoping of sulfate-rich evaporites, ocean crust, in keeping with independent evidence for resi-
but only ~1 percent of this S entered the orebody (Naldrett, dence of subducted material in Archean continental lithos-
1989; Lightfoot and Hawkesworth, 1997). pheric mantle (Cartigny, 2005). Diamonds are transported as
The largest komatiite-hosted Ni-Cu deposits are in the 2.7 xenocrysts from the continental lithospheric mantle to shal-
Ga Norseman-Wiluna belt, Yilgarn craton. Komatiite flows low crustal levels in kimberlites or lamproites, both incom-
erupted in a deep marine environment over sulfidic sedi- patible element-enriched and volatile-rich ultramafic mag-
ments deposited in a ~200-km-wide intracontinental rift. Sul- mas (Mitchell, 1995; Dawson, 1999). Kimberlitic melts are
fur saturation of the ultramafic liquids may stem from assim- generated in the upper mantle, some at depths of 450 to 670
ilation of the sediments (Lesher and Keays, 2002). Similar km as indicated by inclusions of beta majorite garnet, but may
deposits are present in the 2.7 Ga Abitibi belt and also form below the 670-km D' transition zone. In southern
Neoarchean greenstone terranes of Botswana and Zimbabwe. Africa, continental lithospheric mantle with slower P-wave
Paleoproterozoic equivalents formed in greenstone terranes velocity correlates with a greater proportion of eclogitic sili-
of Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec (Ungava, Raglan), Finland cate inclusions in diamonds, younger Sm-Nd ages of the in-
(Hitura), Russia (Pechenga), and Tanzania (Kabanga). A com- clusions, more depleted 13C, and fewer diamonds character-
mon geodynamic element for these deposits is eruption of ized by low N contents. Converse properties characterize
high-temperature, S-undersaturated ultramafic melts through high P-wave domains of continental lithospheric mantle
continental (Noresman-Wiluna) or dominantly oceanic (Shirey et al., 2004). Whereas mantle plumes do not undergo
(Abitibi) crust (Naldrett, 1989; Eckstrand, 1996; Cassidy et decompressional melting at ~300 km beneath Archean conti-
al., 2002; Lesher and Keays, 2002). nental lithospheric mantle, volatile-rich kimberlites possess
Tholeitic intrusion-hosted cumulus Ni-Cu sulfide deposits the buoyancy flux to penetrate this mantle along preexisting
occur dominantly in Archean greenstone terranes, with fewer structures (Fig. 2B).

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Three of seven known major kimberlite events are associ- associated with graywackes. Similar BIF occur in a 650 Ma
ated with superplumes: (1) ~480 Ma in Russia, China, arc terrane of the Pan African orogen and in the Ordovician
Canada, South Africa, and Zimbabwe; (2) ~280 Ma in Lau- Bathurst district (Windley, 1995; Peter, 2003). From the geo-
rentia-Baltica; and (3) ~120 to 80 Ma in North America, chemistry of first-cycle volcanogenic turbidites in the 2.7 Ga
India, Siberia, Brazil, and Africa, linked to the Pacific Creta- Abitibi greenstone terrane, BIF were precipitated in posi-
ceous superplume and associated dispersal of Gondwana tions distal from bimodal intraoceanic arcs or in back arcs, as
(Figs. 3A, 5). Jelsma et al. (2004) identified four lineament well as distal from ocean plateaus (Feng et al., 1993). On four
trends in southern Africa, along which many kimberlites of the Gondwana continents there is a peak of areally exten-
occur, that they attributed to lithospheric structures formed sive BIF at 2.5 to 2.4 Ga. These BIF unconformably overly
during breakup of Gondwana. Oceanic lithosphere, stored at the Archean Karnataka, Amazon, Transvaal, and Pilbara cra-
670-km depth, may avalanche to the core-mantle boundary, tons. The Hammersly and Transvaal BIF may have been con-
ejecting superplumes that in turn cause dispersal of super- tiguous in a superbasin termed Vaalbara (Fig. 9; Cheney,
continents (Condie, 2002). Kimberlite events not known to 1996). Associated rocks are mafic volcanics and black shales.
be associated with plumes occurred at 1 Ga, 410 to 370 Ma, An equivalent, the 2.3 Ga Kursk district, is present on the
200 Ma, and 50 Ma (Condie, 2001). Geodynamic settings of margin of the Siberian craton (Trendal and Blockley, 2004).
kimberlites are reviewed by Helmstaedt (1993); plume- Molecular fossils in Hammersly BIF confer evidence for pho-
lithosphere interaction is prevalent, but continental rifts and tosynthetic cyanobacteria, and concentrations of P, V, Co, Zn,
transform faults are also significant for localizing kimberlite and Mo in these BIF are consistent with precipitation by Fe2+
emplacement in the crust. oxidizing bacteria, as also characterizes present-day Fe-rich
aqueous environments (Brocks et al., 1999; Kornhauser et al.,
Iron formations 2002). Shales of the Transvaal Supergroup are cratonic
Arguably the most significant insight into the fundamental (Wronkiewicz and Condie, 1990), and the areal extent of Pa-
process for iron formations comes from the work of Isley and leoproterozoic BIF on the Gondwana continent is consistent
Abbott (1999), reviewed by Clout and Simonson (2005). They with stable continental shelves above Archean continental
demonstrated that from 3.8 to 1.9 Ga, iron formations and lithospheric mantle.
ocean plateaus that were erupted from mantle plumes have a Granular iron formations (GIF) accumulated on circum-
common time series (Fig. 9; see also Clout and Simonson, Superior province continental shelves in the Lake Superior
2005). Reduced hydrothermal fluids enriched in Fe2+ and Si, and Labrador regions, and in the Earaheedy basin on the
from convection through submarine basaltic lavas, were northern margin of the Yilgarn craton, at ~1.9 to 1.8 Ga (Pi-
transported by ocean circulation to shallower basins where Fe rajno, 2005). These GIF are commonly associated with epi-
precipitated in near-surface waters. Fryer et al. (1979) pio- clastic sedimentary rocks and tuffs; they are interpreted as re-
neered the concept of large volcanic-related hydrothermal working of Fe oxide particles in a shallow-water, high-energy
fluxes into Archean oceans, specifically to maintain an environment (Simonson, 2003; Trendall and Blockly, 2004).
Archean CO2 greenhouse. Simonson and Hassler (1996) ar- The areal extent of GIF stems from stable continental shelves
gued for deposition of Archean banded iron formation (BIF) on, or proximal to, Archean continental lithospheric mantle.
below the wave base in deep water during global sea-level Distinctive iron formations, termed Rapitan, were de-
high stands, in keeping with decreased continental freeboard posited from ~800 to 700 Ma. The principal accumulations
associated with oceanic plateaus (Fig. 3). are Rapitan in the Yukon, Urucum in Brazil, and in the
Isley and Abbotts (1999) insight explains the scarcity of Damara belt, Namibia (Fig. 9C). These iron formations are
iron formations younger than 1.8 Ga (Fig. 9). Accordingly, associated with, but more restricted than, Neoproterozoic
these deposits not only span the putative great oxygenation glacial deposits and include dropstones. Evidence for rift-re-
event at ~2.2 Ga and, therefore, are not proxies for the oxida- lated mafic magmatism that generated Fe-rich hydrothermal
tion state of Earths atmosphere-hydrosphere system but re- plumes is present in the stratigraphic sequences (Yeo, 1986;
quire oxygenated waters to precipitate Fe3+ (Ohmoto, Young, 1988; Trompette et al., 1998). A possible analogue is
2004a,b). Corroborative evidence for this depositional Fe-rich hydrothermal sediments in the Red Sea, where rift-
scheme of reduced source fluids and oxygenated surface ma- ing is caused by the African superswell and related plumes.
rine waters comes from 2.9 Ga BIF in India, which are char- Iron formations are also associated with the ~250 Ma and
acterized by positive Eu but negative Ce anomalies. The for- Cretaceous superplumes (Fig. 9; Oyarzun et al., 2003).
mer is indicated by the solubility of Eu2+ in reduced The combination of factors necessary for iron formations
hydrothermal fluids, whereas the latter is consistent with se- are (1) mantle plumes; (2) tectonic stability for timescales of
questration of Ce3+ from marine water by Fe3+ and Mn4+ ox- >1 m.y.; (3) hiatus of proximal volcanic activity over compara-
ides and oxyhydroxides (Kato et al., 2002). Not all Precam- ble timescales; (4) basin architecture that promoted open ex-
brian iron formations have such clear Eu and Ce anomalies. change with deep marine bottom waters; and (5) sufficient
Trendall and Blockley (2004) reject the conventional classi- water depth to limit the input of epiclastic sediments, GIF ex-
fication of iron formations into Algoman and Superior types. cepted (Isley and Abbott, 1999; Trendall and Blockly, 2004).
They identify four main associations. The first is older BIF in
volcanic basins of Archean greenstone terranes of the Slave, Synthesis
Superior, Baltic, Ukraine (Krivoi Rog BIF), Dharwar, Ama- Plume intensity was relatively greater in the Archean and
zon, Yilgarn, Kaapvaal, and West African cratons. Microbands erupted hotter melts, but some type of plate tectonics was
are interpreted as chemical and seasonal varves, and BIF are also operating. Archean cratons formed where ocean plateaus

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FIG. 9. (A). Secular distribution of mantle plumes, after Isley and Abbott (1999). (B). Iron formations after Trendall and
Blockley (2004). Rapitan (C), Algoman (D), and VMS (E) after Ohmoto (2004a). (F). Volume of ocean crust from Condie

that had been erupted from plumes became jammed against mantle plumes intruded translithospheric structures guided by
convergent margins and the buoyant refractory residue of hot the transition from thicker Archean to thinner Proterozoic con-
plume melting coupled with imbricated arc-plateau crust. tinental lithospheric mantle. At shallower depths, Fe oxide Cu-
This refractory residue constitutes the deep continental Au-REE deposits are also controlled by structures marginal to
lithosphere mantle keel that defines Archean cratons and is Archean continental lithospheric mantle. As plume intensity
responsible for preservation of Archean continental crust and waned, the continental freeboard increased, and phosphorites,
its deposits. Magmatic Ni deposits are associated with ko- carbonates, and Fe and Mn formations precipitated on the first
matiites and basalts erupted from mantle plumes; VMS de- extensive passive margins as Kenorland dispersed. The first U
posits formed in intraoceanic arcs; and orogenic gold deposits accumulations were in foreland basins to orogens that welded
are prevalent in the Neoarchean (Fig. 10), linked to Columbia; the first Pb-Zn deposits in intracontinental rifts ac-
Cordilleran-type orogens that welded cratons into the first su- companied the dispersal of Columbia; and anorthosite-associ-
percontinent, Kenorland, at ~2.7 Ga. ated Fe-Ti-V and Rapakivi Sn deposits occur in the vast belts of
The Proterozoic is characterized by a distinctive set of min- Proterozoic anorogenic magmatism that fundamentally reflect
eral deposits. At deeper crustal levels, magmatic Ni-Cu de- plume-lithosphere interactions. Several features are evident in
posits formed in layered complexes where high Mg melts from Figure 10: The sparsity of deposits that form in topographically

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FIG. 10. Secular variation of specified classes of mineral deposits according to geodynamic setting. Peak height on the y-
axis is scaled according to relative size of the metallogenic provinces. A. AM = anorogenic magmatism; CA = continental arc;
CC = continent-continent orogen; CO = Cordilleran orogen; CR = continental rift; IA = intraoceanic arc; PL = plume-lithos-
phere. Porphyry-epithermal and VMS deposits form in both intraoceanic and continental arcs, but for simplicity of illustra-
tion the former are plotted on the continental arc track. Similarly, magmatic Sn deposits occur in both Cordilleran and
continent-contenent orogens, but are illustrated only on the latter. B. Sedimentary basins. BA = back arc; FA = fore arc; FL
= foreland; IC = intracontinental; O = oceanic; PM = passive margin; RM = rifted continental margin; SS = strike slip. Placer
gold deposits accumulate in the fore arcs and back arcs of orogenic belts, but for simplicity of illustration are plotted in fore
arcs. Sources: Meyer (1988), Goldfarb et al. (2001) for orogenic Au, Groves et al. (2005) for Fe oxide-Cu-Au-REE.

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elevated tectonic belts, such as magmatic Sn and porphyry-ep- Abbott, D., Drury, R., and Smith, W.H.F., 1994b, Flat to steep transition in
ithermal deposits, in the Archean; the sparsity of several deposit subduction style: Geology, v. 22, p. 937940.
Albino, G.V., Jalal, S., and Christensen, K., 1995, Neoproterozoic mesother-
types over the interval from ~1.8 to ~0.8 Ga; the onset of sev- mal gold mineralization at Sukhaybarat East mine, Saudi Arabia: Institution
eral classes of sedimentary rock-hosted deposits with the first of Mining and Metallurgy Transactions, v. 104, sec. B, p. B157B170.
stable passive margins and increased freeboard; prevalence of Allegr, C., 1988, The behaviour of the Earth: Continental and seafloor mo-
Fe-Ti-V deposits in belts of Proterozoic anorogenic magmatism; bility: Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 288 p.
Anderson, D.L., 1994, Superplumes or supercontinents?: Geology, v. 22, p.
and the low prospectivity of intracontinental settings. 3942.
In terms of preservation, the sparsity of many deposit types Annels, A.E., 1979, Mufulira greywackes and their associated sulfides: Insti-
from ~900 to 500 Ma may have resulted from a secular de- tution of Mining and Metallurgy Transactions, v. 88, sec. B, p. B15B23.
crease in thickness and buoyancy of the continental lithos- Annels, A.E., and Simmonds, J.R., 1984, Cobalt in the Zambian Copperbelt:
pheric mantle, coupled with Grenvillian orogens having deep Precambrian Research, v. 25, p. 7598.
Arndt, N.T., 1994, Archean komatiites, in Condie, K.C., ed., Archean crustal evo-
levels of erosion due to delamination of continental lithos- lution: Amsterdam, Elsevier, Developments in Precambrian Geology, p. 1144.
pheric mantle. The secular distribution of ore deposits in the Arndt, N.T., Lesher, C.M., and Czamanske, G.K., 2005, Mantle-derived mag-
Phanerozoic (Fig. 10) reflects enhanced preservation, espe- mas and magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE deposits: ECONOMIC GEOLOGY 100TH AN-
cially of deposits in topographically elevated ranges, notwith- NIVERSARY VOLUME, p. 523.

standing thinner continental lithospheric mantle. Arribas, A., Jr., Hedenquist, J.W., Itaya, T., Okada, T., Concepcin, R.A., and
Garcia, J.S., Jr., 1995, Contemporaneous formation of adjacent porphyry
Four potential future directions for research may provide and epithermal Cu-Au deposits over 300 ka in northern Luzon, Philippines:
useful insights for exploration. At the scale of cratons, better Geology, v. 23, p. 337340.
seismic imaging of continental lithospheric mantle topography Artemieva, I.M., and Mooney, W.D., 2001, Thermal thickness and evolution
may assist in the exploration for magmatic Ni-Cu and Fe oxide of Precambrian lithosphere: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 106, p.
Cu-Au-REE deposits. Refined reconstructions of the super- Ashley, P.M., and Craw, D., 2004, Structural controls on hydrothermal alter-
continent cycle allow projections of metallogenic provinces ation and gold-antimony mineralisation in the Hillgrove area, NSW, Aus-
(Fig. 8). At the scale of terranes, investigations on the conjunc- tralia: Mineralium Deposita, v. 39, p. 223239.
tion of thermal, structural, and lithological factors will help to Attoh, K., and Ekwueme, B.N., 1997. The West African Shield: Oxford
determine the distinction between a metallogenic province Monographs on Geology and Geophysics, v. 35, p. 517528.
Barley, M.E., 1982, Porphyry-style mineralization associated with early
versus regions of subdued mineralization. At the scale of a Archean calc-alkaline igneous activity, eastern Pilbara, Western Australia:
province, efforts to systematize Damkohler (NdD) numbers ECONOMIC GEOLOGY, v. 77, p. 12301236.
(Johnson and DePaolo, 1994) will help to determine why large Barley, M.E., and Groves, D.I., 1992, Supercontinent cycles and the distrib-
or small deposits of a given type may form from the same ore- ution of metal deposits through time: Geology, v. 20, p. 291294.
Barnes, S.-J., and Lightfoot, P.C., 2005, Formation of magmatic nickel sulfide
forming fluids but with subtleties of geochemistry that may in- ore deposits and processes affecting their copper and platinum group element
dicate size; e.g., large deposits may have high Nd signatures. contents: ECONOMIC GEOLOGY 100TH ANNIVERSARY VOLUME, p. 179213.
Barrie, C.T., and Hannington, M.D., 1999, Classification of volcanic-associ-
Acknowledgments ated massive sulfide deposits based on host-rock composition: Reviews in
We are grateful to Bruce Eglington, Franco Pirajno, Paul ECONOMIC GEOLOGY, v. 8, p. 111.
Bartholom, P., Evrard, P., Katekesha, F., Lopez-Ruiz, J., and Ngongo, M.,
Ramaekers, Vlad Sopuk and Derek Wyman for reviewing 1973, Diagenetic ore-forming processes at Kamoto, Katanga, Republic of
some, or all, sections of an intial draft of this manuscript. The the Congo, in Amstutz, G.C., and Bernard, A.J., eds., Ores in sediments:
section on geodynamics draws on a document written by Ali Berlin, Springer-Verlag, p. 2141.
Polat and RK for an unpublished report to the Canadian As- Ben-Avraham, Z., Nur, A., Jones, D., and Cox, A., 1981, Continental accretion
sociation of Mining Industry Research Organization from oceanic plateaus to allochthonous terranes: Science, v. 213, p. 4754.
Benioff, H., 1964, Earthquake source mechanisms: Science, v. 143, p.
(CAMIRO). Economic Geology One Hundredth Anniversary 13991406.
Volume reviewers, Dallas Abbott and David Groves, conferred Berger, B.R., and Bonham, H.F., 1990, Epithermal gold-silver deposits in the
insights and identified errors that resulted in substantial im- western United States: Time-space products of evolving plutonic, volcanic and
provement to the final version. Glen Caldwell, Kevin Cassidy, tectonic environments: Journal of Geochemical Exploration, v. 36, p. 103142.
Bickle, M.J., 1986, Implications of melting for stabilization of the lithosphere
Bruce Eglington, and Mike Lesher guided RK to information and heat loss in the Archean: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 80, p.
where background was lacking. Karen McMullan and Ignacio 314324.
Gonzales are thanked for assistance with the text, and Ryan Bierlein, F.P., Arne, D.C., Foster, D.A., and Reynolds, P., 2001, A geochrono-
Schmidt, June McLintock, and Tim Wardell for generating the logical framework for orogenic gold mineralisation in central Victoria, Aus-
figures. RK acknowledges the George McLeod endowment to tralia: Mineralium Deposita, v. 36, p. 741767.
Bijward, H., and Spakman, W., 1999, Tomographic evidence for a narrow
the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of whole mantle plume below Iceland: Earth and Planetary Science Letters,
Sasktchewan, and JPR and RK acknowledge support of Dis- v. 176, p. 4555.
covery Grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Re- Bilibin, Y.A., 1968, Metallogenic provinces and metallogenic epochs: New
search Council of Canada. We appreciate the invitation by Jeff York, Queens College Press, 35 p.
Hedenquist to write this article. Bissig, T., Clark, A.H., Lee, J.K.W., and Hodgson, C.J., 2002, Miocene land-
scape evolution and geomorphologic controls on epithermal processes in
the El Indio-Pascua Au-Ag-Cu belt, Chile and Argentina: ECONOMIC GE-
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