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Sanjiang Tethyan metallogenesis in S.W. China: Tectonic setting, metallogenic epochs and deposit types

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 21:32 authored by Hou, ZQ, Khin ZawKhin Zaw, Pan, GT, Mo, XX, Xu, Q, Hu, YZ, Li, XZ
Tectonically, the Sanjiang Tethyan Metallogenic Domain (STMD) is located within the eastern Himalayan-Tibetan Orogen in the Sanjiang Tethys, southwestern China. Although this metallogenic domain was initiated in the Early Palaeozoic, extensive metallogenesis occurred in the Late Palaeozoic, Late Triassic and Himalayan (Tertiary) epochs. Corresponding tectonic settings and environments in the domain are: an arc-basin system related to the subduction of the Palaeo-Tethyan oceanic slabs; a post-collision crustal extension setting caused by the lithospheric delamination or slab breakoff underneath the Sanjiang Tethys during the Late Triassic; large-scale strike-slip faulting and thrusting systems due to the Indo-Asian continent collision since the Palaeocene. In this metallogenic domain important gold, copper, base metals, rare metals and tin ore belts, incorporating a large number of giant deposits, were developed. The main types of deposits include: (1) porphyry copper deposits, controlled by a large-scale strike-slip fault system, (2) VHMS deposits, mainly occurring in intra-arc rift basins and post-collision crustal extensional basins, (3) shear-zone type gold deposits in the ophiolitic mélange zone along the thrusting-shearing system, (4) hydrothermal silver-polymetallic deposits in the Triassic intra-continental rift basins and Tertiary strike-slip pull-apart basins, and (5) Himalayan granite-related greisen-type tin and rare-metallic deposits. Within the metallogenic epochs of the Late Palaeozoic to Cenozoic, the styles and types of the ore deposits changed from VHMS types in the Late Palaeozoic through exhalative-sedimentary type deposits in the Late Triassic, to porphyry-type copper deposits, shear-zone type gold deposits, hydrothermal vein-type silver-polymetallic deposits, greisen-type tin and rare-metal deposits in the Cenozoic. Correspondingly, ore-forming metals also changed from a Pb-Zn-Cu-Ag association through Ag-Cu-Pb-Zn, Fe-Ag-Pb and Ag-Au-Hg associations, to Ag-Cu-Pb-Zn, Cu-Mo, Au, Sn, and Li-Rb-Cs-Nb-Zr-Hf-Y-Ce-Sc associations. © 2007.


Publication title

Ore Deposit Reviews








School of Natural Sciences


Elsevier BV

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Other mineral resources (excl. energy resources) not elsewhere classified

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