Volcanism, mineralization and metamorphism at the Xitieshan Pb–Zn deposit, NW China: Insights from zircon geochronology and geochemistry
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The footwall volcanic rocks of the Ordovician Tanjianshan Group in the world-class Xitieshan Pb–Zn deposit have experienced prolonged arc volcanism followed by strong metamorphism and deformation. This has resulted in a complex thermal history and led to ambiguity in interpretation of zircon geochronological results. An integrated study involving textural characterization, CL imaging, trace element analysis, Ti-in-zircon thermometry and LA-ICPMS U–Pb dating has provided tight constraints on the age and genesis of the zircon groups in the volcanic rocks. The temperature of metamorphism and deformation indicated by metacryst minerals and micro-structures in the volcanic rocks ranges from 550 to 650 °C, which partially overlaps with the lower temperature range of zircon crystallization (600–750 °C) calculated using the Ti-in-zircon thermometer. Cathodoluminescence images and trace element compositions confirm a magmatic origin for the zircons, which have also been variably altered by metamorphic fluids. Two ranges of U–Pb ages, 475–470 Ma and 460–450 Ma, have been obtained on typical magmatic zircons and are interpreted to represent pre-mineralization arc volcanism in the Xitieshan deposit. A younger age group of 440–430 Ma for the fluid-modified zircons is considered to record post-ore metamorphism during the North Qadaim Orogeny. Thus, we propose that the original exhalative ores at the Xitieshan Pb–Zn deposit formed at 450–440 Ma.
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