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Tectonic and magmatic controls on Cretaceous and Tertiary gold and copper deposits in the Rhodope Massif, the Srednogorie belt and the Caucasus, Bulgaria and Georgia

English title Tectonic and magmatic controls on Cretaceous and Tertiary gold and copper deposits in the Rhodope Massif, the Srednogorie belt and the Caucasus, Bulgaria and Georgia
Applicant Moritz Robert
Number 111046
Funding scheme SCOPES
Research institution Département des sciences de la Terre Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Mineralogy
Start/End 01.10.2005 - 31.03.2009
Approved amount 67'700.00
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All Disciplines (4)


Keywords (6)

metallogeny; mamatism; geodynamics; Au-Cu deposits; Balkan; Caucasus

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
The project presented in this grant application is part of a European Science Foundation (ESF) program on “Geodynamics and Ore Deposit Evolution” (GEODE). The funding requested here will support field and laboratory work of our Bulgarian colleagues involved in this international research program.

Previous extensive tomographic and seismic studies of the EUROPROBE program and tectonophysical modeling have yielded a very detailed knowledge of the deep structures and thermal anomalies of the crust and mantle of eastern Europe. This knowledge combined with the particular metallogenic character of the Carpatho-Balkan belt has led the ESF to include it within an international research program on the relationship between Geodynamics and Ore Deposit Evolution. This research program started in 1998 and will last until 2003. The goal of the GEODE project is to link the geological and geochemical processes related to ore deposit formation with the underlying regional scale geodynamic evolution.

The aim of this SCOPES grant application is to contribute to this international research program. The research area is the Carpatho-Balkan belt which contains the most important magmatic-associated copper and gold deposits of Europe. These deposits are related to plate convergence and orogenic collapse settings, and were formed during two major periods: (1) from Early Triassic to Late Cretaceous within the Banat-Srednogorie metallogenic belt (southwestern Romania to eastern Bulgaria), and (2) during the Tertiary in the Rhodope tectonic zone (Bulgaria and Greece).

The research proposed in this grant application will focus on : (1) an investigation of the magmatism and the metallogeny of the Panagyurishte ore district of the Bulgarian Srednogorie belt, with an emphasis on the world-class Chelopech gold deposit and associated gold deposits in the district; and (2) a study on the chemical and isotopic evolution of a mineralising system from the metal source reservoir to the depositional site in the Rhodope Massif on base metal and precious metal epithermal deposits.

The investigation in the Panagyurishte district is a regional metallogenic and geodynamic problem where two complementary approaches are followed:
(1) the regional geology and the geochemistry of the magmatic rocks will be investigated, and the genesis of the ore deposits will be interpreted with respect to the tectonic setting of the host rocks, and (2) the major ore deposits of the Panagyurishte district will be compared to identical deposits from better understood tectonic settings. The second investigation is set in a province with a better understood tectonic setting, namely the Rhodope Massif, where recently precise absolute Ar/Ar ages give us the opportunity to study processes and trace the ore components from their source to the hydrothermal ore formation site by isotope systematics. A particular emphasis is placed on the magma to hydrothermal fluid transition by studying melt inclusions.

The two continental arcs provide an excellent opportunity for the evaluation of: (1) the time relationships between magmatic pulses and ore deposits, (2) the role of composition of magmas and basement rocks as sources for specific ore deposit, (3) the control of geodynamic processes on the genesis of ore-forming magmatic systems, and (4) the relative role of the different fluid types in ore-forming hydrothermal systems.

This project will consist of field and laboratory (microscopy, XRF, XRD) work in Bulgaria, and labwork in Geneva (partly also in Lausanne and/or Zürich), including ion chromatography, mass spectrometry for isotope determinations, fluid inclusion microthermometry, Raman spectroscopy, Ar-Ar dating, microprobe, SEM and LA-ICP-MS.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
138130 Episodic Mesozoic to Tertiary ore-forming events along the Lesser Caucasus and adjoining tectonic provinces 01.11.2011 Project funding