Advertisement

Spatial and Temporal Variations of Archaean Metallogenic Associations in Terms of Evolution of Granitoid-Greenstone Terrains with Particular Emphasis on the Western Australian Shield

  • D. I. Groves
  • W. D. Batt

Abstract

There is marked spatial and temporal heterogeneity in diversity and intensity of metallogenic associations in Archaean greenstone belts. On the greenstone basin scale, parameters such as intensity of faulting, rapidity of burial, water depth and extent of irruption of komatiitic and felsic magma appear to have controlled the nature and intensity of mineralization. These inter-related parameters apparently depend on the degree of extension during basin development.

Initial development of both older (3.5 - 3.3 Ga) and younger (3.0 to 2.7 Ga) volcanic repositories appears to have occurred on platforms or in shallow basins with zero or negative marginal relief, probably under conditions of low extension. Older platform-phase greenstones formed in very shallow water and the metallogenic associations, including evaporative barite, small Pb-and sulphaterich volcanogenic massive sulphides and porphyry-style Mo-Cu deposits, reflect the shallow marine to subaerial environments. Younger platform-phase green-stones formed in deeper water basins and have more conventional metallogenic associations, but the volcanogenic massive sulphides, komatiite-associated Ni-Cu deposits and gold mineralization are normally spatially restricted, and the greenstones have a relatively low intensity of mineralization.

Greenstone metallogenesis peaked in the late Archaean (2.8 - 2.7 Ga) in association with the development of major linear rift zones, probably related to increased extension and crustal thinning. Overlap of magmatic, volcanogenic and metamorphogenic mineralization resulted from the eruption of thick sequences of volcanics, including komatiites and felsic rocks, into rapidly subsiding deep water troughs and subsequent metamorphism and deformation of these sequences. The rift phase of greenstone basin development may be represented in the older terrains by more limited, dominantly sediment-filled grabens which are poorly mineralized relative to younger rift zones. This appears the major reason for the temporal contrast in intensity of mineralization, whereas temporal contrasts in the nature of metallogenic associations relate largely to the anomalous, very shallow-water environments at the platform stage in the older greenstone basins.

Keywords

Gold Deposit Greenstone Belt Contrib Mineral Petrol Versus Versus Versus Versus Versus Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anhaeusser CR (1976a) The nature and distribution of Archaean gold mineralization in southern Africa. Mineral Sci Engng 8: 46–84Google Scholar
  2. Anhaeusser CR (1976b) Archaean metallogeny in southern Africa. Econ Geol. 71: 16–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anhaeusser CR (1981) The relation of mineral deposits to early crustal evolution. Econ Geol 75th Anniv Vol: 42–62Google Scholar
  4. Archibald NJ, Bettenay LF (1977) Indirect evidence for tectonic reactivation of a pre-greenstone sialic basement in Western Australia. Earth Planet Sci Lett 33: 370–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Archibald NJ, Bettenay LF, Bickle MJ, Groves DI (1981) Evolution of Archaean crust in the eastern Goldfields Province of the Yilgarn Block, Western Australia. Geol Soc Aust Spec Publ 7: 491–504Google Scholar
  6. Ayres LD, Averill SA, Wolfe AJ (1982) An Archean molydenite occurrence of possible porphyry type at Setting Net Lake, Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Econ Geol 77: 1105–1119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barley ME (1982) Porphyry-style mineralization associated with early Archaean calc-alkaline igneous activity, eastern Pilbara, Western Australia. Econ Geol 77: 1230–1235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Barley ME, Dunlop JSR, Glover JE, Groves DI (1979) Sedimentary evidence for an Archaean shallow-water volcanic-sedimentary facies, eastern Pilbara Block, Western Australia. Earth Planet Sci Lett 43: 74–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bavinton OA (1981) The nature of sulfidic metasediments at Kambalda and their broad relationships with associated ultramafic rocks and nickel ores. Econ Geol 76: 1606–1628CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bayley RW, James HL (1973) Precambrian iron formations of the United States. Econ Geol 68: 934–959CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bickle MJ, Bettany LF, Barley ME, Chapman HJ, Groves DI, Campbell IH, de Laeter JR (1983) A 3500 Ma plutonic and volcanic calc-alkaline province in the Archaean East Pilbara Block. Contrib Mineral Petrol 84: 25–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bickle MJ, Bettenay LF, Boulter CA, Groves DI, Morant P (1980) Horizontal tectonic interactions of an Archaean gneiss belt and greenstones, Pilbara Block, Western Australia. Geology (Boulder) 8: 525–529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bickle MJ, Martin A, Nisbet EG (1975) Basaltic and peridotitic komatiites and stromatolites above a basal unconformity in the Belingwe greenstone belt, Rhodesia. Earth Planet Sci Lett 27: 155–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Boyle RW (1979) The geochemistry of gold and its deposits. Geol Surv Can Bull 280: 584Google Scholar
  15. Buick R, Dunlop JSR, Groves DI (1981) Stromatolite recognition in ancient rocks: an appraisal of irregularly laminated structures in an early Archaean chert-barite unit from North Pole, Western Australia. Alcheringa 5: 161–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Burke K, Dewey JF, Kidd WSF (1976) Dominance of horizontal movements, arc and microcontinent collision during the late permobile regime. In: Windley BF (ed) The early history of the Earth. Wiley, New York, pp 113–129Google Scholar
  17. Cooper JA, Dong YB (1983) Zircon age data from a greenstone of the Yilgarn Block, Australia. Mid- Proterozoic heating or uplift. Contrib Mineral Petrol 82: 397–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dunlop JSR, Buick R (1981) Archaean epiclastic sediments derived from mafic volcanics, North Pole, Pilbara Block, Western Australia. Geol Soc Aust Spec Publ 7: 225–234Google Scholar
  19. Dunlop JSR, Groves DI (1978) Sedimentary barite of the Barberton Mountain Land: a brief review. Geol Dept Extension Service, Univ West Aust Publ 2: 39–44Google Scholar
  20. Eriksson KA (1981) Archaean platform-to-trough sedimentation, east Pilbara Block, Australia. Geol Soc Aust Spec Publ 7: 235–244Google Scholar
  21. Fitton MJ, Horwitz RC, Sylvester G (1975) Stratigraphy of the early Precambrian in the west Pilbara, Western Australia. CSIRO Aust Min Res Lab Rep FP11Google Scholar
  22. Fletcher IR, Rosman KJR, Trendall AF, de Laeter JR (1982) Variability of ENdi in greenstone belts in the Archaean of Western Australia. 5th Internat Conf Geochron Cosmochron Isotope Geol Nikko Japan (Abstract)Google Scholar
  23. Franklin JM, Sangster DM, Lydon JW (1981) Volcanic-associated massive sulfide deposits. Econ Geol 25th Anniv Vol: 485–627Google Scholar
  24. Gee RD (1979) Explanatory notes on the Southern Cross 1:250,000 geological sheet, Western Australia. Rec Geol Surv West Aust 1979 /5Google Scholar
  25. Gee RD, Baxter JL, Wilde SA, Williams IR (1981) Crustal development in the Archaean Yilgarn Block, Western Australia. Geol Soc Aust Spec Publ 7: 43–56Google Scholar
  26. Gemuts I, Theron A (1975) The Archaean between Coolgardie and Norseman - stratigraphy and mineralization. In: Knight CL (ed), Economic geology of Australia and Papua New Guinea, I Metals. Australas Inst Min Metall, pp 66–74Google Scholar
  27. Green AH, Naldrett A J (1981) The Langmuir volcanic peridotite-associated nickel deposits: Canadian equivalents of the Western Australian occurrences. Econ Geol 76: 1503–1523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Groves DI (1982) The Archaean and earliest Proterozoic evolution and metallogeny of Australia. Rev Bras Geocien 12: 135–148Google Scholar
  29. Groves DI, Phillips GN, Ho SE, Henderson CA, Clark ME, Woad GM (1984) Controls on distribu¬tion of Archaean hydrothermal gold deposits in Western Australia. In: Foster RP (ed) Gold ’82: The Geology, Geochemistry and Genesis of Gold deposits. AA Balkema Rotterdam, pp 689–712Google Scholar
  30. Hallbauer DK, Kable EJD (1982) Fluid inclusions and trace element content of quartz and pyrite pebbles from Witwatersrand conglomerates: Their significance with respect to the genesis of primary deposits. In: Amstutz GC et al. (eds) Ore genesis - the state of the art. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 742–752Google Scholar
  31. Hallberg J A (1980) Archaean geology of the Leonora-Laverton area. Excursion guide northeast Yilgarn. 2nd Int Archaean Symp Perth 1980: 37 pGoogle Scholar
  32. Hargraves RB (1981) Precambrian tectonic style: a liberal uniformitarian interpretation. In: Kroner A (ed) Precambrian plate tectonics. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 21–56Google Scholar
  33. Henderson JB (1975) Archaean stromatolites in the northern Slave Province. Northwest Territories, Canada. Can J Earth Sci 12: 1619–1630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Henley RW, Ellis AJ (1983) Geothermal systems ancient and modern: A geochemical review. Earth Sci Rev 19: 1–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hickman AH (1980) Excursion guide Archaean geology of the Pilbara Block. 2nd Int Archaean Symp Perth 1980 55 pGoogle Scholar
  36. Hickman AH (1981) Crustal evolution of the Pilbara Block, Western Australia. Geol Soc Aust Spec Publ 7: 57–70Google Scholar
  37. Hodgson CJ, McGeehan PJ (1982) A review of the geological characteristics of “gold-only” deposits in the Superior Province of the Canadian Shield. Can Inst Min Metall Spec Vol 24: 211–229Google Scholar
  38. Horwitz RC (1979) The Whim Creek Group: a discussion. J R Soc West Aust 61: 67–72Google Scholar
  39. Hutchinson RW (1981) Metallogenic evolution and Precambrian tectonics. In: Kroner A (ed) Precambrian plate tectonics. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 733–760Google Scholar
  40. Keays RR (1984) Archaean gold deposits and their source rocks: the upper mantle connection. In: Foster RP (ed) Gold ’82: The geology, geochemistry and genesis of gold deposits. AA Balkema Rotterdam, pp 17–51Google Scholar
  41. Kerrich R, Fryer BJ (1979) Archaean precious-metal hydrothermal systems, Dome Mine, Abitibi Greenstone Belt II. REE and oxygen isotope relations. Can J Earth Sci 16: 440–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lambert IB, Groves DI (1981) Early Earth evolution and metallogeny. In: Wolf KH (ed) Handbook of strata-bound and stratiform ore deposits. Elsevier, Amsterdam 8: 339–447Google Scholar
  43. Lesher CM, Arndt NT, Groves DI (1984) Genesis of komatiite-associated nickel sulphide deposits at Kambalda: a distal volcanic-assimilation model. In: Buchanan DL, Jones ML (eds) Sulphide deposits in mafic and ultramafic rocks. Inst Min Metal Lond Spec Publ (to be published)Google Scholar
  44. Lowe DR (1980) Stromatolites 3400-Myd old from the Archean of Western Australia. Nature 284: 441–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lowe DR (1982) Comparative sedimentology of the principal volcanic sequences of Archean greenstone belts in South Africa, Western Australia and Canada: implications for crustal evolution. Precambrian Res 17: 1–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lowe DR, Knauth LP (1977) Sedimentology of the Onverwacht Group (3.4 billion years), Transvaal, South Africa, and its bearing on the characteristics and evolution of the early Earth. J Geol 85: 699–723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lowe DR, Knauth LP (1978) The oldest marine carbonate ooids reinterpreted as volcanic accretionary lapilli, Onverwacht Group, South Africa. J Sediment Petrol 49: 664–666Google Scholar
  48. Marston RJ, Groves DI, Hudson DR, Ross JR (1981) Nickel sulfide deposits in Western Australia: a review. Econ Geol 76: 1330–1363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McCulloch MT, Compston W (1981) Sm-Nd age of Kambalda and Kanowna greenstones and heterogeneity in the mantle. Nature 294: 322–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. McGeehan PJ, MacLean WH (1980) Tholeiitic basalt-rhyolite magmatism and massive sulphide deposits at Matagami, Quebec. Nature 283: 153–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Nash JT, Granger HC, Adams SS (1981) Geology and concepts of genesis of important types of uranium deposits. Econ Geol 25th Anniv Vol: 63–116Google Scholar
  52. Nesbitt RW, Shen-Su Sun, Purvis AC (1979) Komatiites: geochemistry and genesis. Can Mineral 17: 165–186Google Scholar
  53. Nisbet EG (1982) The tectonic setting and petrogenesis of komatiites. In: Arndt NT, Nisbet EG (eds) Komatiites. George Allen and Unwin, London, pp 501–520Google Scholar
  54. Pretorius DA (1981) Gold and uranium in quartz-pebble conglomerates. Econ Geol 25th Anniv Vol: 117–138Google Scholar
  55. Reimer TO (1980) Archaean sedimentary baryte deposits of the Swaziland Supergroup (Barberton Mountain Land, South Africa). Precambrian Res 12: 393–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Ross JR, Travis GA (1981) The nickel sulfide deposits of Western Australia in global perspective. Econ Geol 76: 1291–1329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Smith HS, O’Neil JR, Erlank AJ (1984) Oxygen isotope compositions of minerals and rocks and chemical alteration patterns in pillow lavas from the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa. This volume, 115–137Google Scholar
  58. Solomon M, Walshe JL (1979) The formation of massive sulfide deposits on the sea floor. Econ Geol 74: 797–813CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Spooner ETC, Fyfe WA (1973) Sub-sea floor metamorphism, heat and mass transfer. Contrib Mineral Petrol 42: 287–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Stanistreet IG, de Wit MJ, Fripp REP (1981) Do graded units of accretionary spheroids in the Barberton Greenstone Belt indicate Archaean deep water environment. Nature 293:280–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Walter MR, Buick R, Dunlop JSR (1980) Stromatolites 3400-3500 Myd old from the North Pole area, Western Australia. Nature 284: 443–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Watson J (1976) Mineralization in Archaean provinces. In: Windley BF (ed) The early history of the Earth. Wiley, London, pp 443: 5454Google Scholar
  63. Williams DAC (1979) The association of some nickel sulfide deposits with komatiitic volcanism in Rhodesia. Can Mineral 17: 337–350Google Scholar
  64. Windley BF (1977) The evolving continents. Wiley, London, 385 pGoogle Scholar
  65. Woodall R (1979) Gold - Australia and the world. Geol Dept Extension Service Univ West Aust Publ 3: 1–34Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. I. Groves
  • W. D. Batt
    • 1
  1. 1.Geology DepartmentUniversity of Western AustraliaNedlandsAustralia

Personalised recommendations