Metal fluxes during magmatic degassing in the oceanic crust: sulfide mineralisation at ODP site 786B, Izu-Bonin forearc

  • C. G. C. PattenEmail author
  • I. K. Pitcairn
  • J. C. Alt
  • T. Zack
  • Y. Lahaye
  • D. A. H. Teagle
  • K. Markdahl


Volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits are enriched in metals that are either derived from hydrothermal alteration of the basement rocks or supplied by exsolution of metal-rich volatiles during magmatic differentiation. The extent to which each process contributes to metal enrichment in these deposits varies between different tectonic settings. Ocean Drilling Program Hole 786B recovered > 800 m of upper oceanic crust from a supra-subduction zone setting and includes a 30-m-thick mineralised zone. In situ S isotopic compositions of pyrite decrease from 5.9 ± 2.9‰ in the upper mineralised zone down to − 3.3 ± 2.1‰ in the extensively altered central mineralisation zone, potentially indicating strong magmatic fluid input in this area. Whole rock data and in situ trace element analyses in sulfide minerals show enrichment of Ag, As, Au, Bi, Mo, S, Se, Sb and Te in the mineralised zone. Evaluation of metal behaviour during magmatic differentiation and primary metal fertility of basement rocks suggests that degassing melt is the main source for the high Au, Se and S enrichment observed in the mineralised zone. Magmatic volatile exsolution occurred late during the magmatic differentiation (~ 2 wt.% MgO), concomitant with oxide crystallisation and metal depletion in the melt. Comparison of Ocean Drilling Program Hole 786B with volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits hosted by boninitic volcanic successions, such as in the Semail ophiolite, the Newfoundland Appalachians and the Flin Flon Belt, suggests that magmatic fluid exsolution could be a common mechanism for Au enrichment in bimodal mafic volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits.



The authors would like to thank Steve Piercey and Tucker Barrie, the associated editor and the editor-in-chief for the thorough review of the manuscript. This research used samples provided by the ODP and IODP, and the authors would like to thank the IODP Kochi Core Centre, Japan. The ODP was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and participating countries under management of Joint Oceanographic Institutions. The IODP was supported by the National Science Foundation, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling, the Australia-New Zealand IODP Consortium, and the People’s Republic of China Ministry of Science and Technology.

Funding information

This work was funded by Stockholm University and by the Swedish Research Council (PRG 621-2007-4539).

Supplementary material

126_2019_900_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (2.4 mb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 2472 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Applied Geosciences Geochemistry, Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Department of Geological SciencesStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  5. 5.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  6. 6.Geological Survey of FinlandEspooFinland
  7. 7.Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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