Abstract

Offset dikes, radial and concentric fractures infilled with quartz diorite, are important hosts of Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization in the Sudbury area. To better understand their emplacement and evolution, the cathodoluminescence (CL) and trace-element chemistry of quartz were examined in quartz diorite from the Foy, Trill, Whistle, Hess, Parkin (North Range), and Copper Cliff (South Range) offsets. Although the potential causes of the CL response in quartz are considered, the primary focus was the qualitative textures and patterns, as these can provide valuable paragenetic information. Quartz from the North Range displays a strong blue luminescence dominated by homogenous and sharply zoned CL patterns, while that from the Copper Cliff offset displays a weak CL response. Locally recrystallized granoblastic quartz shows diffuse concentric zoning and other heterogeneous CL patterns. Trace-element EPMA-WDS analyses indicate that quartz from the Foy, Trill, and Whistle offsets is enriched in Al (30–600 ppm) and Ti (50–520 ppm) as compared to Fe (<25–490 ppm), while quartz from the Parkin and Hess offsets is enriched in Fe (270–700 ppm) as compared to Ti (44–211 ppm) and Al (95–250 ppm). In contrast to the North Range offsets, quartz from Copper Cliff has low Al concentrations (30–85 ppm) and very low Ti concentrations (<25 ppm). Application of the Ti-in-quartz geothermometer indicates that quartz from the North Range offsets crystallized above 600 °C, while that from the Copper Cliff offset crystallized below 600 °C. The CL responses and trace-element compositions of anhedral quartz from the North Range offsets are consistent with primary crystallization of quartz from magmatic quartz diorite, while those of the granoblastic quartz record dynamic recrystallization and Ostwald ripening. Copper Cliff quartz is anomalous in its CL response, trace-element content, and crystallization temperature, which may reflect overprinting during regional metamorphism of the South Range of the Sudbury Igneous Complex. Quartz CL is demonstrated to be an important tool for discerning and discriminating between paragenetic processes related to the formation of the offset dikes and has clear applications to the study of other quartz-bearing igneous rocks in the Sudbury area.

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