Oxidation state inherited from the magma source and implications for mineralization: Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous granitoids, Central Lhasa subterrane, Tibet
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Arc magmas are more oxidized than mid-ocean ridge basalts; however, there is continuing debate as to whether this higher oxidation state is inherited from the source magma or developed during late-stage magmatic differentiation processes. Well-constrained Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous arc-related intermediate to felsic rocks derived from distinct magma sources provide us with a good opportunity to resolve this enigma. A series of granitoids from the western Central Lhasa subterrane were analyzed for whole-rock magnetic susceptibility, Fe2O3/FeO ratios, and trace elements in zircon. Compared to Late Jurassic samples (1.8 ± 2.0 × 10−4 emu g−1 oe−1, Fe3+/Fetotal = 0.32 ± 0.07, zircon Ce4+/Ce3+* = 15.0 ± 13.4), Early Cretaceous rocks show higher whole-rock magnetic susceptibility (5.8 ± 2.5 × 10−4 emu g−1 oe−1), Fe3+/Fetotal ratios (0.43 ± 0.04), and zircon Ce4+/Ce3+* values (23.9 ± 22.3). In addition, positive correlations among whole-rock magnetic susceptibility, Fe3+/Fetotal ratios, and zircon Ce4+/Ce3+* reveal a slight increase in oxidation state from fO2 = QFM to NNO in the Late Jurassic to fO2 = ∼NNO in the Early Cretaceous. Obvious linear correlation between oxidation indices (whole-rock magnetic susceptibility, zircon Ce4+/Ce3+*) and source signatures (zircon εHf(t), TDMC ages) indicates that the oxidation state was predominantly inherited from the source with only a minor contribution from magmatic differentiation. Thus, the sources for both the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous rocks were probably influenced by mantle wedge-derived magma, contributing to the increased fO2. Compared to ore-forming rocks at giant porphyry Cu deposits, the relatively low oxidation state (QFM to NNO) and negative εHf(t) (−16 to 0) of the studied granitoids implies relative infertility. However, this study demonstrates two potential fast and effective indices (fO2 and εHf(t)) to evaluate the fertility of granitoids for porphyry-style mineralization. In an exploration context for the west Central Lhasa subterrane, features indicative of potential fertility might include more oxidized, positive εHf(t), young rocks (<130 Ma).
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