Microstructural constraints on magma emplacement and sulfide transport mechanisms

Vukmanovic, Zoja and Fiorentini, M. L. and Reddy, S. M. and Godel, B. (2018) Microstructural constraints on magma emplacement and sulfide transport mechanisms. Lithosphere, 11 (1). pp. 73-90. ISSN 1941-8264, 1947-4253 DOI https://doi.org/10.1130/L743.1

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The poorly constrained nature of the physical transfer of sulfides along magmatic conduits has implications for the genesis and localization of mineral deposits as well as for understanding the large-scale mobility of volatiles and metals across different geochemical reservoirs. Our natural laboratory to address this topic is a sulfide-bearing ultramafic pipe emplaced in the deep crust of the Ivrea-Verbano Zone, northwest Italy. The pipe comprises a volatile-rich peridotite, that contains disseminated, blebby and semi-massive sulfides enriched in nickel, copper and platinum-group elements. The integration of electron backscatter diffraction orientation data and 3D X-ray computed tomography analyses from this study indicate that 1) most of olivine crystallized upon emplacement of the magma; and 2) the shape and texture of the intra-granular sulfide blebs principally hosted within the central portions of the pipe reflect early sulfide saturation and 3) that marginal areas 1recorded higher strain compare to the cores of the pipes. The differences in the size distribution of the sulfide grains between the central and marginal areas of the pipe are due to magma emplacement dynamics. The larger sulfide aggregates forming the bulk of the Ni-Cu-PGE sulfide mineralization along the margins of the pipe are interpreted to form by coalescence of a large number of smaller sulfide droplets. The observed sulfide size distribution between the central and marginal areas of the Valmaggia pipe is principally due to the dynamics of the magma upon emplacement, and locally record the role of water- and carbon dioxide-bearing volatiles in the physical entrainment of dense sulfide liquids. These processes provide a viable mechanism to transport sulfides enriched in chalcophile and siderophile metals from the upper mantle into the lower continental crust, where they may be available for later remobilization into ore systems that may form subsequently in the middle and upper crust.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2018AREP; IA73
Subjects: 05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
Divisions: 05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Lithosphere
Volume: 11
Page Range: pp. 73-90
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1130/L743.1
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2018 22:10
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2021 17:27
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/4334

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