Abstract

The Kidd–Munro assemblage, Abitibi belt, Canada, is an ultramafic–mafic–felsic volcanic sequence that contains the giant Kidd Creek volcanic-hosted massive sulfide (VMS) deposit. The Kidd basin, 1.6 km northeast of the deposit, contains pervasively brecciated pillowed and massive basalts. The breccia is distinctly different from most breccias in volcanic rocks, which form through volcanic processes or during later deformation or alteration. The Kidd Creek breccia occurs pervasively through otherwise undeformed pillow interiors and margins, and also in localized corridors of particularly intense brecciation. Clasts are angular, up to 4 cm wide, hosted in a very fine-grained matrix, and commonly show jig-saw fit texture. The chemical compositions of the breccia fragments and matrix are generally similar, although the matrix is slightly enriched in high field-strength elements (HFSE) and heavy rare-earth elements (HREE) and depleted in some mobile elements, such as Rb and Ba. The breccia contains altered basaltic clasts and fragments of in-filled amygdales and is crosscut by late-stage quartz–carbonate–sulfide veins. The observations imply that the breccia was formed in-situ, with minimal transport of material, and developed after solidification of the volcanic rocks. In-situ breccias, such as these, are known to form proximal to major fault zones, but no such structure occurs in the vicinity of the Kidd Basin. We suggest the brecciation was caused by the propagation of shock waves from explosive volcanic eruption, perhaps related to the emplacement of felsic volcanic rocks observed in the Kidd Creek Mine. The breccia was subject to enhanced hydrothermal fluid flow, perhaps linked to the formation of the ore deposit.

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