Transitional adakite-like to calc-alkaline magmas in a continental extensional setting at La Paz Au-Cu skarn deposits, Mesa Central, Mexico: metallogenic implications
The granodiorite intrusions with associated Cu-Au skarn mineralization of La Paz district are located in the east part of the Mesa Central of Mexico. The skarn developed at the contact between a middle Cretaceous calc-argillaceous sedimentary sequence and the magmatic intrusions. A Ag-Pb-Zn vein system postdates the intrusive-skarn assemblage. Two well defined fault systems (N-S and E-W) divide the La Paz district. The N-S Dolores fault, with a normal vertical displacement estimated between 500 to 1000 m, separates the western Au-Cu skarn zone from the eastern hydrothermal Ag-Pb-Zn vein system. This fault is considered to be part of the Taxco-San Miguel de Allende fault system. The U-Pb dating of the intrusives at the La Paz district clearly indicates a single emplacement event dated at ca. 37 Ma (monocrystal zircon age). This age probably represents the last post-Laramide orogenic mineralizing event known to occur in the Sierra de Catorce district. Also, four calculated discordant ages suggest the presence of greenvilian basement underneath a a thick crust (35-45 km).
The chemistry of the intrusive show a certain variability in composition, but they mostly belong to the high-K calc-alkaline magmatic series. Major and trace elements relationships for the intrusives show a chemical evolution from the adakite to the island arc fields, and from mineralized to barren intrusives, repectively. They also suggest the importance of crustal delamination processes, and the necessity of deep cortical drains to transfer oxidized magmas and metals to surface.
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