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Book Chapter

Regional Geologic and Tectonic Setting Of the Central Colorado Mineral Belt

By
Alan R. Wallace
Alan R. Wallace
U.S. Geological SurveyMS 905, Box. 25046U.S. Geological SurveyFederal Center Denver, Colorado 80225
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Published:
January 01, 1988

Abstract

The central Colorado mineral belt is endowed with an impressive wealth of mineral deposits, including the world-class deposits at Leadville, Gilman, and Climax, that formed in a variety of geologic environments. The geology of the area spans more than 1.8 Ga, commencing with the Early Proterozoic accretion of volcanic arc and back-arc complexes to the southern margin of the Archean 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 it was partially exhumed during Pennsylvanian orogenic uplift. Subduction-related calc-alkalic magmatism and uplift affected the region during the Late Cretaceous-early Tertiary Laramide orogeny. 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 calc-alkalic magmatism or to later bimodal activity. Deposits of demonstrably Laramide age are relatively small, and a few small carbonate-hosted deposits may have formed during the Mississippian.

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Contents

Society of Economic Geologists Guidebook Series

Geology and Mineralization of the Gilman-Leadville Area, Colorado

T. B. Thompson
T. B. Thompson
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David W. Beaty
David W. Beaty
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
2
ISBN electronic:
9781934969557
Publication date:
January 01, 1988

GeoRef

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