Abstract

The base of the Proterozoic Negaunee Iron Formation is exposed in the open pit at Tilden Mine, Marquette, Michigan. Juxtaposed against the Archean-aged Palmer Gneiss, it is bounded by the regional-scale Southern Shear Zone and cut by two sets of dykes: an older chloritic and schistose set and a younger 1.1 Ga Keweenawan set. Tilden Mine is dominated by a 100 m scale plunging northwest-anticline and is cut by a growth fault locally termed the Tower Hill Fault that intersects the Southern Shear Zone. The base of the exposed iron formation is composed of three lithofacies, including lower clastics that grade into the overlying banded iron formation that in turn grades upward into granular iron formation. This succession is capped by chloritic metadiabases locally termed the Summit Hill Sill and Pillar Intrusive. Petrographic and mineral chemical investigations document primary or early diagenetic hematite, siderite and possibly ferri-hydrite, metamorphic and related hydrothermal magnetite, chlorite, late martite overgrowing earlier magnetite and growth of specularite. All three lithofacies are cut by brittle fractures and late quartz veins. Brittle fractures are coated with chlorite, carbonate minerals, fluor-apatite, and sparse Cu-sulphides. These lithofacies document initial clastic sedimentation of strained detrital quartz into a subsiding fault trough. Over time, as subsidence slowed or sea level fluctuated, clastic deposition competed with quiescent chemical sedimentation, leading to deposition of the banded iron formation facies. As a stable shelf platform emerged, the granular iron formation facies was deposited via wave reworking of hardgrounds. Subsequent diagenesis initiated dissolution of carbonate and chert and promoted diagenetic replacement of primary iron minerals and chert. Regional metamorphism during Penokean orogeny at 1875–1835 Ma produced a suite of secondary metamorphic and related hydrothermal minerals. Metamorphism and hydrothermal flux related to the 1750 Ma development of the Republic Metamorphic Node overprinted the iron formation at Tilden to greenschist facies and infilled brittle fractures with a unique mineral assemblage. This unique mineral assemblage exhibits some striking similarities to Mn, Au, and Cu-sulphides documented at Champion Mine, west of Tilden, and proximal to the core of the Republic Node.

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