The giant Jiaodong gold province:The key to a unified model for orogenic gold deposits?

Geoscience Frontiers  2016年03期
机 构

Although the term orogenic gold deposit has been widely accepted for all gold-only lode-gold deposits,with the exception of Carlin-type deposits and rare intrusion-related gold systems,there has been continuing debate on their genesis.Early syngenetic models and hydrothermal models dominated by meteoric fluids are now clearly unacceptable.Magmatic-hydrothermal models fail to explain the genesis of orogenic gold deposits because of the lack of consistent spatially- associated granitic intrusions and inconsistent temporal relationships.The most plausible,and widely accepted,models involve metamorphic fluids,but the source of these fluids is hotly debated.Sources within deeper segments of the supracrustal successions hosting the deposits,the underlying continental crust,and subducted oceanic lithosphere and its overlying sediment wedge all have their proponents.The orogenic gold deposits of the giant Jiaodong gold province of China,in the delaminated North China Craton,contain ca.120 Ma gold deposits in Precambrian crust that was metamorphosed over 2000 million years prior to gold mineralization.The only realistic source of fluid and gold is a subducted oceanic slab with its overlying sulfide-rich sedimentary package,or the associated mantle wedge.This could be viewed as an exception to a general metamorphic model where orogenic gold has been derived during greenschist- to amphibolite-facies metamorphism of supracrustal rocks:basaltic rocks in the Precambrian and sedimentary rocks in the Phanerozoic.Alternatively,if a holistic view is taken,Jiaodong can be considered the key orogenic gold province for a unified model in which gold is derived from late-orogenic metamorphic devolatilization of stalled subduction slabs and oceanic sediments throughout Earth history.The latter model satisfies all geological,geochronological,isotopic and geochemical constraints but the precise mechanisms of auriferous fluid release,like many other subduction-related processes,are model-driven and remain uncertain.