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Regional Geologic and Tectonic Setting of the Central Colorado Mineral Belt

By
Alan R. Wallace
Alan R. Wallace
U. S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, Mail Stop 905, Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225
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Published:
January 01, 1990

Abstract

The central Colorado mineral belt has an impressive wealth of mineral deposits, including the world-class deposits at Leadville, Gihnan, and Climax. The geologic history of the area spans more than 1.8 Ga, commencing with early Proterozoic accretion of volcanic-arc and back-arc complexes to the southern margin of the Archean Wyoming craton. These rocks were complexly deformed and intruded by large early and middle Proterozoic batholiths. During Paleozoic and Mesozoic time, the Proterozoic basement complex was buried beneath several kilometers of marine and continental sediments and was partially exhumed during Pennsylvanian orogenic uplift. Subduction-related alkalic to calc-alkalic magmatism and uplift affected the region during the Late Cretaceous-early Tertiary Laramide orogeny. Postsub-duction Oligocene and younger extension generated the north-trending Rio Grande rift zone, which was accompanied by bimodal magmatic activity.

Most of the mineral deposits in the central Colorado mineral belt are associated with Oligocene subduction-related magmatism or to later rift-related activity. With the exception of the carbonate-hosted ores at Aspen, Laramide deposits are comparatively small. A few carbonate-hosted deposits (“Sherman-type”) maybe of Paleozoic age.

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Contents

Economic Geology Monograph Series

Carbonate-Hosted Sulfide Deposits of the Central Colorado Mineral Belt

David W. Beaty
David W. Beaty
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;
Gary P. Landis
Gary P. Landis
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;
Tommy B. Thompson
Tommy B. Thompson
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
7
ISBN electronic:
9781629490021
Publication date:
January 01, 1990

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