Abstract

The Zagros orogenic and metallogenic belt is characterized by the widespread occurrence of manganese and ferromanganese deposits. These deposits are spatially associated with radiolarian cherts and basaltic rocks, which cap the ophiolite sequences. The present work provides a review on the rare-earth element (REE) geochemistry coupled with major- and trace-element geochemical characteristics of the Nasirabad and Abadeh Tashk manganese deposits (associated with the Neyriz ophiolite), and Sorkhvand manganese deposit (associated with the Kermanshah ophiolite). These data are used to gain an insight into the primary ore-forming processes that control the deposition of manganese ores. All of the selected manganese deposits have consistently high Ba contents and low concentrations of trace elements (Co, Cu and Ni) with high Mn/Fe ratios typical of hydrothermal activity. A relatively low REE abundance, Lan/Ndn ratios (˃3), and position on a Lan/Cenvs. Al2O3/(Al2O3 + Fe2O3) discrimination plot indicate a distal hydrothermal source for almost all of the selected manganese deposits. Most of the deposits are characterized by Ceanom < –0.1 which reflects the prevailing oxidative conditions during the deposition of manganese ores. Importantly, this is consistent with the occurrence of non-sulfide oxic Mn mineralization in all the manganese deposits of the Zagros orogeny. The comparison of the Sorkhvand, Abadeh Tashk and Nasirabad manganese deposits with other manganese deposits elsewhere in the world indicates that major- and trace-element characteristics, as well as the REE composition of the Zagros manganese deposits are analogous to those typical of hydrothermal deposits.

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