Mineralium Deposita

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 794–798

Giant versus small porphyry copper deposits of Cenozoic age in northern Chile: adakitic versus normal calc-alkaline magmatism

  • Roberto Oyarzun
  • Alvaro Márquez
  • Javier Lillo
  • Ivan López
  • Sergio Rivera
Letter

DOI: 10.1007/s001260100205

Cite this article as:
Oyarzun, R., Márquez, A., Lillo, J. et al. Min Dep (2001) 36: 794. doi:10.1007/s001260100205

Abstract.

Cenozoic magmatic activity in northern Chile led to the formation of two contrasting porphyry copper belts: (1) a Paleocene–Early Eocene belt comprising small porphyry copper deposits (e.g., Lomas Bayas) of normal calc-alkaline affinity; and (2) a Late Eocene–Early Oligocene belt hosting huge porphyry copper deposits (e.g., Chuquicamata) of adakitic affinity. Although the first belt comprises both volcanic and plutonic rocks (andesitic–basaltic and rhyolitic lavas and tuffs, and associated sub-volcanic porphyries and felsic stocks), the latter only includes intrusions (mostly granodioritic types, including porphyry copper deposits). We suggest that the Late Eocene–Early Oligocene belt formed when fast and oblique convergence between the South America and Farallon plates led to flat subduction and direct melting of the subducting plate, hence giving rise to plutonic rocks of adakitic affinity. The absence of volcanism, under prevailing compressional conditions, prevented the escape of SO2 from the adakitic, sulfur-rich, highly oxidized magmas ("closed porphyry system"), which allowed formation of huge mineral deposits. On the contrary, coeval volcanic activity during formation of the Paleocene–Early Eocene calc-alkaline porphyries allowed development of "open systems", hence to outgassing, and therefore, to small mineral deposits.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Oyarzun
    • 1
  • Alvaro Márquez
    • 2
  • Javier Lillo
    • 3
  • Ivan López
    • 3
  • Sergio Rivera
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de Cristalografía y Mineralogía, Facultad de Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, SpainSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Petrología y Geoquímica, Facultad de Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, SpainSpain
  3. 3.Escuela Superior de Ciencias Experimentales y Tecnología, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Tulipán s/n, 28933 Móstoles, Madrid, SpainSpain
  4. 4.Corporación del Cobre (CODELCO) – Chile, Gerencia de Exploraciones, Huerfanos 1270, Santiago, ChileChile

Personalised recommendations