Acta Geochimica

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 131–144 | Cite as

Prospectivity modeling of porphyry copper deposits: recognition of efficient mono- and multi-element geochemical signatures in the Varzaghan district, NW Iran

  • Reza Ghezelbash
  • Abbas MaghsoudiEmail author
  • Mehrdad Daviran
Original Article


The Varzaghan district at the northwestern margin of the Urumieh–Dokhtar magmatic arc, is considered a promising area for the exploration of porphyry Cu deposits in Iran. In this study we identified mono- and multi-element geochemical anomalies associated with Cu–Au–Mo–Bi mineralization in the central parts of the Varzaghan district by applying the concentration–area fractal method. After mono-element geochemical investigations, principal component analysis was applied to ten selected elements in order to acquire a multi-element geochemical signature based on the mineralization-related component. Quantitative comparisons of the obtained fractal-based populations were carried out in accordance with known Cu occurrences using Student’s t-values. Then, significant mono- and multi-element geochemical layers were separately combined with related geologic and structural layers to generate prospectivity models, using the fuzzy GAMMA approach. For quantitative evaluation of the effectiveness of different geochemical signatures in final prospectivity models, a prediction-area plot was adapted. The results show that the multi-element geochemical signature of principal component one (PC1) is more effective than mono-element layers in delimiting exploration targets related to porphyry Cu deposits.


Geochemical signature Concentration–area (C–A) fractal Principal component analysis (PCA) Student’s t-value Fuzzy mineral prospectivity modeling (MPM) Prediction–area (P–A) plot 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Geochemistry, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reza Ghezelbash
    • 1
  • Abbas Maghsoudi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mehrdad Daviran
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Mining and Metallurgical EngineeringAmirkabir University of TechnologyTehranIran
  2. 2.School of Mining, Petroleum and Geophysics EngineeringShahrood University of TechnologyShahroodIran

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