, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 235–252 | Cite as

Scandinavian metallogenesis

  • Rickard D. T. 


The Baltic shield broadly evolved by successive accretions of younger rocks in a SW direction. The Archaean (>2.5 Ga) basement is situated in the NE of the area and is mantled to the SW by a broad belt of early Proterozoic supracrustals of the Svecokarelian orogen. Over 80% of mined sulfide ores and known reserves in Finland occur on the NE side of a major NW-SE suture, that limits the Archaean basement complex in the SW. These ores, which include the Kotalahti Ni-Cu zone, the Vihanti Zn-Cu-Pb zone and the Outokumpu Cu-Co zone, are emplaced in early Proterozoic epicontinental rocks and obducted ophiolitic slices. The early Proterozoic marine complexes on the SW side of the Archaean continent include the ore districts of the Skellefte field and the Central Province of Sweden and Finland. These ores include complex massive and bedded Pb-Zn-Cu ores, often with pyrite, in island arc settings. The Bergslagen district of the Central Province also includes a large number of small, exhalative-sedimentary iron and manganese ores.

Mid-Proterozoic evolution in Scandinavia mostly occurred through vertical movements and the emplacement of late- and an-orogenic granite suites with associated porphyry effusives and continental sandstones. The Kiruna-type iron ores, which accounted for six % of global iron ore production in 1969, probably originated in association with these events.

Phanerozoic evolution in Scandinavia was dominated by the formation of the Caledonide orogen. The complex Pb-Cu-Zn ores of the Caledonide Province were formed mainly in an island arc setting during the Ordovician. These units were obducted onto the continental margin, where they suffered complex folding, metamorphism, intrusion and further nappe development during mid-Silurian or early-Devonian times.

Intraformational brines, generated in the thick back-arc sedimentary pile during the Ordovician and Silurian, were mobilized in advance of the eastward translation of the Caledonide nappes. Lead and zinc, leached from sediments, were deposited as sulfide ores in sulfidic sandstone aquifers along the E margin of the Caledonide orogen.


Ordovician Baltic Shield Central Province Granite Suite Archaean Basement 
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© Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rickard D. T. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Ore Research Group, Geologiska InstitutionenStockholms UniversitetStockholmSweden

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