Geodynamic causes of copper and gold concentrations in the Tethys belt

AUTHORS: Lips, A.L.W.

ABSTRACT: A review of the spatial and temporal distribution of different styles of mineralization along the 5,000 km long Cretaceous-Tertiary Tethys belt highlights the heterogeneous appearance of copper and gold in space and time. It can be estimated that the Alpine-Tethys Belt has been hosting over eighty million tonnes of copper metal and nearly seven thousand tonnes of gold metal. Many different styles of copper- and gold-bearing ore deposits have formed during three dominant periods of the overall northward motion of Africa and Arabia during the last 100 Ma. Progressive closure of the Tethys oceanic basins occurred through multistage subduction, obduction, accretion, and syn- to post-orogenic extension processes along the active margin of southern Eurasia. The geodynamic evolution has produced different characteristic frequencies and amplitudes in the distribution of copper and of gold concentrations along the Tethys belt.

KEYWORDS: Tethys belt, copper, gold, ore deposit, geodynamics

EAN: SGA_2007_A023
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