Triassic alkaline magmatism and mineralization in the Xiong’ershan area, East Qinling, China


The Qinling orogenic belt is a complex subduction–accretion–collision orogen that welded the North China Craton and the Yangtze Craton during the final continental collision in the Triassic. The Xiong’ershan area, located in east Qinling, exposes a typical Triassic syenite pluton and several contemporaneous Mo, Au, and Cu deposits. The aegirine–augite syenites and syenites from the Mogou pluton are characterized by alkalic to peralkalic (total alkali Na2O + K2O = 13.95–14.63 wt.%, CaO = 0.06–2.87 wt.%), and shoshonitic features (K2O = 11.86–14.34 wt.%). Zircon LA–ICP–MS U–Pb dating of the aegirine–augite syenite and syenite yield emplacement ages of 232.5 ± 0.6 and 221.8 ± 0.7 Ma, indicating multiple pulses of magmatism. Evidence from zircon Hf isotopes; occurrence of mafic microgranular enclaves; heterogeneous peralkaline composition; and wide ranges of MgO, Ni, and other trace elements suggest that the parental magma was mainly sourced from partial melting of Archean to Paleoproterozoic crustal sources, mixed with juvenile mantle-derived mafic magmas. The Mogou pluton was probably emplaced in the tectonic transition from syn-collision to post-collision settings and accompanying slab break-off process, from the commencement of collision at approximately 245 Ma and post-collisional extension at approximately 210 Ma. Gold, molybdenum, and copper deposits formed during the interval of 255–208 Ma, and the close temporal and spatial relationship between these Triassic polymetallic deposits and the Mogou alkaline pluton invokes a genetic linkage. The heat source for magmatism and related metallogeny is correlated to a hot upwelling asthenospheric mantle that caused partial melting of the Archean to Paleoproterozoic crustal basement, resulting in magma mixing between the two end-members.

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