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The Tethys metallogenic belt: A natural laboratory for understanding ore-forming processes from arc construction to post-collision evolution in orogenic belts

English title The Tethys metallogenic belt: A natural laboratory for understanding ore-forming processes from arc construction to post-collision evolution in orogenic belts
Applicant Moritz Robert
Number 188714
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Département des sciences de la Terre Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Other disciplines of Earth Sciences
Start/End 01.11.2019 - 31.10.2023
Approved amount 846'811.00
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All Disciplines (5)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences
Geochronology
Mineralogy
Geology
Geochemistry

Keywords (8)

Ore deposits; Tectono-magmatic setting; Anatolides; South East Asian belts; Tectonics; Magmatic rocks; Geodynamics; Lesser Caucasus

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Evolution métallogénique et géodynamique du Petit-Caucase et des Pontides orientales
Lay summary

Ce projet de recherche porte sur l’évolution métallogénique et géodynamique des ceintures orogéniques du Petit-Caucase et des Pontides orientales. Ces deux chaînes de montagnes sont le produit final d’une histoire tectonique évoluant de la subduction de la Neotethys en-dessous de la plaque eurasienne durant le Jurassique à la collision finale entre les plaques arabe et eurasienne. Des gisements métallifères ont été formés durant cette évolution, soit associés à des magmas générés durant les processus de subduction, soit lors des processus récents de collision de plaques tectoniques, puis lors de l’effondrement post-collisionnel des chaînes orogéniques. Cette recherche est constituée de trois sous-projets couvrant les territoires de l’Arménie, de la Géorgie et de la Turquie orientale bordant la Mer Noire. Ce projet de recherche examinera en détail les liens existant entre la formation de gisements métallifères, l’évolution géodynamique et les caractéristiques des magmas spatialement et temporellement associés aux gisements métallifères durant l’évolution mésozoïque et cénozoïque du Petit-Caucase et des Pontides orientales. Les gisements étudiés sont une source importante de divers métaux comme le cuivre, l’or, le molybdène, le rhénium, le zinc et le plomb, qui sont fondamentaux pour les besoins quotidiens de notre société. Par conséquent, notre projet de recherche fournira des connaissances nouvelles sur l’accumulation de métaux dans la croûte terrestre lors de l’évolution de chaînes orogéniques. Il permettra d’affiner les modèles métallogéniques existant et en fournira de nouveaux, qui permettront aux compagnies minières de mieux cibler leurs campagnes d’exploration, avec une rationalisation des frais d’exploration et une diminution de l’empreinte environnementale.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.09.2019

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
128234 Immunology- An update on hot topics 01.10.2009 Scientific Conferences
155928 Episodic Mesozoic to Tertiary ore-forming events in successive geodynamic settings in an accretionary orogenic belt: the case of the Tethys orogenic belt 01.11.2014 Project funding
138130 Episodic Mesozoic to Tertiary ore-forming events along the Lesser Caucasus and adjoining tectonic provinces 01.11.2011 Project funding
168996 Metallogeny of the Lesser Caucasus: From arc construction to post-collision evolution 01.11.2016 Project funding

Abstract

In this project, we focus on the Lesser Caucasus and the Eastern Pontides, which are two adjoining segments extending from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, and belonging to the Tethys orogenic and metallogenic belt. The Lesser Caucasus and the Eastern Pontides are the final products of a complex geodynamic and metallogenic evolution, lasting from Jurassic subduction of the northern branch of the Neotethys beneath Eurasia to final Neogene Arabia-Eurasia collision. Episodic ore formation along the Lesser Caucasus and the Eastern Pontides was associated (1) with Mesozoic to early Cenozoic arc construction during subduction of the northern branch of the Neotethys along the Eurasian margin, and (2) with subsequent Cenozoic collision and post-collision magmatism and tectonics controlled by structures inherited from Late Cretaceous-Paleogene accretion boundaries along the Eurasian margin.Three subprojects are proposed in this grant submission to constrain episodic ore formation and associated magmatism during subduction to post-collision evolution of the Lesser Caucasus and the Eastern Pontides. Subproject A will last eigthteen months and will allow our current PhD student to finalise her research project on the temporal and genetic link between incremental pluton assembly and episodic epithermal Au and porphyry Cu-Mo formation during mostly collisional to post-collisional evolution of the South Armenian block of the Lesser Caucasus. Subproject B will last four years, with one new PhD student, who will be supported by this project. Subproject B will be focused on the Artvin-Bolnisi belt in Georgia, which is a key area where the Eastern Pontides merge with the Lesser Caucasus. The aims are to understand its Late Cretaceous metallogenic, magmatic and tectonic setting during final subduction of the northern Tethys, and its Cenozoic post-collisional overprint. Subproject C will be carried out by one post-doctoral fellow. This three year long subproject will allow us to provide an integrated metallogenic, magmatic and tectonic model for the subduction to post-collision evolution of the Eastern Pontides and its eastern extension into the Artvin-Bolnisi belt. In particular, this study will allow us to understand the effect on magmatism and ore deposit formation due to the opposite propagation of oblique ocean closure and terrane collision on one side of the belt, and concomitant back-arc basin opening (Black Sea opening) on the other side of the same belt. This project will also examine the (spatial/genetic?) association of volcanogenic massive sulfide and porphyry-epithermal systems.The investigations described in this grant proposal are relevant to different disciplines in geosciences. Our comprehensive study integrates tectonic aspects, magmatism, high-precision geochronology and ore formation in order to provide an integrated geodynamic and metallogenic model for the Lesser Caucasus and the Eastern Pontides. This project will allow us to identify key processes (tectonic setting, fertile vs. barren magmatism, timing-contemporaneity of events) that operate during short, episodic ore deposit forming events in an otherwise long, mostly barren geodynamic evolution of mountain belts. Our metallogenic interpretations and new models will be confronted to studies carried out in other belts, (e.g., South Asian, Himalayan and Myanmar belts), and will provide enhanced models of ore deposit formation during the post-collisional evolution of mountain belts. This research will provide new knowledge to be used as predictive tools for mineral exploration, and ensure the sustainable supply of different metals, which are necessary for the needs of our society.
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