High-Mg diorite from Qulong in Southern Tibet: implications for the genesis of adakite-like intrusions and associated porphyry Cu deposits in collisional orogens

Yang, Zhi-Ming, Lu, Yonh-Jun, Hou, Zeng-Qian, and Chang, Zhao-Shan (2015) High-Mg diorite from Qulong in Southern Tibet: implications for the genesis of adakite-like intrusions and associated porphyry Cu deposits in collisional orogens. Journal of Petrology, 56 (2). pp. 227-254.

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We have investigated a suite of Miocene high-Mg diorite porphyries from Qulong in southern Tibet, the largest porphyry Cu–Mo deposit in China. Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry zircon U–Pb dating shows that the high-Mg diorite porphyry was emplaced at 15.7±0.2 Ma, which is slightly younger than the Qulong adakite-like Rongmucuola pluton (c. 19.5–16.4 Ma). The Qulong high-Mg diorites have phenocrysts showing disequilibrium textures and include high-Mg# clinopyroxene (0.91–0.97). These porphyry rocks exhibit both ultrapotassic and adakite-like features, and are characterized by high contents of MgO (4.2–5.1 wt %), K2O (3.2–3.6 wt %), and compatible trace elements (e.g. Ni: 115–142 ppm; Cr: 214–291 ppm), as well as by high Sr/Y and La/Yb ratios. The rocks have highly radiogenic isotopic compositions with (87Sr/86Sr)i = 0.707004–0.707198, eNd(t)=-5.1 to -5.5, 207Pb/204Pb = 15.697–15.704, and 208Pb/204Pb = 39.082 – 39.116, as well as variable zircon eHf values of -3.0 to +5.9. Petrographic, elemental, and isotopic evidence suggests that the Qulong high-Mg diorites were formed by mixing between ultrapotassic and adakite-like melts, derived from metasomatized Tibetan lithospheric mantle and juvenile lower crust, respectively. In contrast, the Qulong pre-ore Rongmucuola pluton is characterized by high SiO2 (66.3–68.9 wt %) and Al2O3 (16.4–17.0 wt %) contents, high Sr/Y ratios (121–151), low compatible element contents (e.g. Ni = 16.0 – 17.4 ppm; Cr=14.5–20.2 ppm), low Mg# values (0.44–0.52), positive large-ion lithophile element (LILE) anomalies, marked negative high field strength element (HFSE) anomalies, positive eNd(t) values (+0.4 to +2.5), and low (87Sr/86Sr)i values (0.704847–0.705237). These features indicate that the Rongmucuola pluton was formed by partial melting of subduction-modified juvenile lower crust within the garnet stability field. The newly identified Qulong high-Mg diorite allows us to propose a mixing model for the origin of the Gangdese high-K, adakite-like rocks. In this model, the formation of these rocks occurred in two stages: (1) partial melting of highly metasomatized lithospheric mantle that generated ultrapotassic mafic melts; (2) underplating of such melts beneath thickened juvenile lower crust, which resulted in melting of the lower crust and the generation of adakite-like magmas. Mixing of the adakite-like melt with ultrapotassic magmas elevated the K2O, MgO, and other LILE (e.g. Rb and Ba) contents of the adakite-like melt. Exogenous water necessary for formation of the Gangdese porphyry Cu systems was mainly added during mixing of ultrapotassic magma with adakite-like melt at lower and/ or upper-crustal depths, reflecting the large decrease in the H2O solubility of the ultrapotassic mafic melt upon ascent and decompression. Upper-crustal fractionation of the Rongmucuola magma could also possibly increase the water content of mineralization-related, adakite-like porphyry intrusions at Qulong. Fluid exsolution from the ultrapotassic magma is likely to have been a key process in the generation of the Gangdese porphyry Cu deposits, as well as other porphyry Cu deposits in the Tibetan collisional orogens.

Item ID: 38145
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1460-2415
Funders: National Basic Research Program of China (NBRP), Ministry of Land and Resources of China (MLRC), National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC)
Projects and Grants: NBRP No. 2011CB403104, MLRC 201011011, NNSFC grant no. 41273051, NNSFC grant no. 41473041
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2015 01:23
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040307 Ore Deposit Petrology @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040304 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840102 Copper Ore Exploration @ 100%
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