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Contrasting Late Cretaceous with Neogene ore provinces in the Alpine–Balkan–Carpathian–Dinaride collision belt

Franz Neubauer
Franz Neubauer
Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunner Str. 34, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria,
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January 01, 2002


Internal sectors of the Alpine– Balkan– Carpathian–Dinaride (ABCD) orogen comprise fundamentally different ore deposits along strike in three temporally and spatially distinct belts. These were formed by several short-lived, late-stage collisional processes (including slab break-off) during the Late Cretaceous and Oligocene to Neogene times. Reconstruction of Late Cretaceous (c. 92–65 Ma) collisional structures, magmatic features and mineralization reveals contrasting variations along strike, including the following.

(la) The Late Cretaceous ‘banatite’ magmatic belt, which extends from the Apuseni mountains to the Balkans, associated mainly with porphyry Cu-Au, massive sulphide and Fc Cu skarn mineral deposits. In respect to their country rocks and geodynamic setting, the magmatism is interpreted to represent either post-collisional or Andean-type calc-alkaline due to continuous subduction or break-off of the subducted lithosphere.

(lb) The Alpine–West Carpathian sector, which is characterized by strong Late Cretaceous metamorphic/deformational overprint, lack of magmatism and both syn- and late-orogenic formation of metasomatic and metamorphogenic talc, magnesite, siderite and vein- and shear zone-type Cu and As–Au due to the exhumation of metamorphic core complexes.

(2a) The Oligocene-Miocene Serbomacedonian–Rhodope metallogenic zone extends across several structural units from the Bosnian Dinarides to the Rhodopes and to Thrace. It includes both a belt with volcanic-hosted and vein-type Pb–Zn deposits and a belt of porphyry Cu–Au Mo and epithermal Au mineralization, which is more common in the south. Both belts appear to relate to microcontinent collision and associated subsequent magmatism, again possibly due to slab break-off.

(2b) Different types of mineralization were also formed along the internal Inner Carpathian and Alpine sectors during Late Oligocene to Miocene collision. In the Alps, mineralization formed due to eastward extrusion of fault-bounded blocks into the Carpathian arc. Associated mineral deposits are always related to exhumation of metamorphic core complexes and include: sub-vertical mesothermal Au-quartz veins and replacement As–Ag– Cu ore bodies within the metamorphic core complex, fault-bounded mineralization (Pb–W–Au) along low-angle ductile normal faults along the upper margins of the metamorphic core complex, mineralized (Sb–Au) strike-slip faults and sub-vertical Au Ag- Sb-bearing tension veins.

(2c) In contrast, nearly all Miocene ore deposits within the Carpathians are related to volcanic activity contemporaneous with the invasion of fault-bounded blocks into the Carpathian arc. These have been related to slab break-off and cessation of subduction. Mineral deposits include structurally controlled Au–Sb Cu–Pb–Zn ore bodies within shallow volcanic edifices, with a preference for steep tension veins parallel to the motion direction of laterally escaping crustal blocks.

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Figures & Tables


Geological Society, London, Special Publications

The Timing and Location of Major Ore Deposits in an Evolving Orogen

D. J. Blundell
D. J. Blundell
Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
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F. Neubauer
F. Neubauer
University of Salzburg, Austria
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A. von Quadt
A. von Quadt
ETH-Z, Zurich, Switzerland
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Geological Society of London
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2002




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