Tectonic setting and mineralisation potential of the Cowley Ophiolite Complex, north Queensland

Edgar, A., Sanislav, I.V., and Dirks, P.H.G.M. (2022) Tectonic setting and mineralisation potential of the Cowley Ophiolite Complex, north Queensland. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences. (In Press)

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Abstract

Northeast Queensland contains multiple slices of mafic–ultramafic units, strung out along regional faults that mark major tectonic boundaries. One such complex is the Cowley Ophiolite Complex, which is situated along the Russell-Mulgrave Fault. The Cowley Ophiolite Complex is a differentiated mafic–ultramafic complex composed of gabbro, chlorite schist, anthophyllite schist and serpentinite. We interpret that the alteration assemblages observed throughout the Cowley Ophiolite Complex reflect an amphibolite facies metasomatic overprint within a supra-subduction zone setting. This interpretation is consistent with geochemical discrimination of the gabbro, and chromite grains from the anthophyllite schist. The Cowley Ophiolite Complex records a higher metamorphic grade than the surrounding Hodgkinson Formation, and we interpret this to reflect the allochthonous structural setting of the complex, positioned along an ancient subduction margin. This subduction margin is represented today by the Russell-Mulgrave Fault. Metasomatism and emplacement of the complex probably pre-dated deposition of the Mossman Orogen’s active margin successions. Our interpretation of an active subduction complex, which pre-dated the formation of the Mossman Orogen, suggests that the Russell-Mulgrave Fault is a Paleozoic, continental suture zone. The Cowley Ophiolite Complex presents little indication of economic mineralisation; however, much of the complex remains unexplored.

Item ID: 75380
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-0952
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-ncnd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2022 00:09
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3705 Geology > 370503 Igneous and metamorphic petrology @ 40%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3705 Geology > 370511 Structural geology and tectonics @ 50%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3705 Geology > 370508 Resource geoscience @ 10%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280107 Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences @ 100%
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