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Fluid-controlled element transport and mineralization in subduction zones

Author:
Yang-Yang Wang  Yilin Xiao  


Journal:
Solid Earth Sciences


Issue Date:
2018


Abstract(summary):

Abstract Many of the world's metal deposits are associated with hydrothermal fluids in subduction zones, indicating the intimate relationship between subduction process and mineralization. During subduction process, subducting slab would release fluids/melts which in general could be subdivided into aqueous fluid, hydrous melt and supercritical fluid based on the water content and P-T condition. The distinct fluids/melts are able to transport plenty of elements to the overlying mantle wedge and play an important role in the formation of various deposits. Subduction-related mineralization includes porphyry-type deposit, orogenic gold (Au) deposit, metamorphic hydrothermal deposit, volcanogenic massive sulfides (VMS) deposit and so on. In particular, porphyry-type deposit is generally related to arc magmatism or partial melting of subducted plate, with parts of ore-forming fluids ultimately derived from dehydration of the subducted slab. The orogenic Au deposit and the metamorphic hydrothermal deposit are believed to result from metamorphic fluids with the former generally enriched in CO 2 . The other types of deposits in subduction zones are always related to magmatic rocks with the magma supplying materials, heat or driving force for ore-forming fluid circulation. The aqueous fluids derived from dehydration of subducting plate contain various amounts of CO 2 , Cl, S, N and other solutes. These components are efficient agents to dissolve and transport metals. When partial melting of subducted plate occurs, the melt could carry numerous metals and plays a direct role in mineralization. In addition, sulfide melts in subduction zones are extremely beneficial for the transport of chalcophile elements. Although numerous achievements have been obtained, some more detailed studies should be implemented to find out the exact processes of metal transport and redistribution. In this paper we firstly review ore deposits and fluid types in subduction zones, and then emphatically discuss subduction fluid-controlled element transport and its significance for widespread mineralization. Highlights • Element transport by fluids/melts from subducting plate to the overlying mantle is emphatically discussed and is connected to subduction-related mineralization. • Ability of aqueous fluid in transporting element is assessed by discussing the large-scale transport of ligand elements like Cl, S, CO 2 and NH 4 + in aqueous fluids. • Melt represented by sulfide melt inclusion in UHP metamorphic rocks and partial melting of subducting plate is an alternative medium for element transport.


Page:
87-87


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