RUSSIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES VOL. 5, NO. 1, PAGES 31–44, doi:10.2205/2002ES000110, 2003

Mesozoic-Cenozoic metallogenic provinces, Wilson cycle, and plume tectonics

Yu. G. Gatinskii, and D. V. Rundkvist

Vernadskii National Geological Museum, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia


[1]  The aim of this paper is to discuss the association of the major Mesozoic and Cenozoic provinces (metallogenic belts and oil-gas basins) with the Pangea breakup and mantle plumes. Assuming that the large plumes did not change substantially their positions, their modern projections to the Earth surface can be applied to the whole of this period of time. From the end of the Paleozoic through the early half of the Mesozoic (early stages of the cycle) the Indian-African Superplume controlled the formation of rift systems along the lines of the future breakup of the supercontinent. This activity was accompanied by trap lava flows, the emplacement of layered basic intrusions and granites of high alkalinity with the formation of Cu-Ni and Pt mineralization, and the formation of rare-metal and rare-earth ore deposits. The belts of low-temperature and telethermal ore deposits, as well as large oil and gas pools, were formed along the peripheries of this and other superplumes. During the end of the Jurassic and the beginning of the Cretaceous (middle phases of the cycle) young oceans began to open with the divergence of the continental blocks. Simultaneously, rifting activity continued above the hot plumes along with the associated magmatism and mineralization. Active continental margins with rare metal and copper pyrite mineralization developed beyond the plume projections in the northern part of Tethys and at both sides of the Pacific Ocean. At the end of the Mesozoic and during the Cenozoic the breakup and divergence of the last fragments of Pangea took place in Africa and Arabia and in Antarctica and Australia, although generally the leading role belonged to the processes of the convergence of continental blocks around Eurasia, the formation of subduction zones, and collision with the formation of the provinces of copper sulfide and rare metal mineralization. This trend characterized the closing phases of the Wilson cycle and resulted in the predominance of downward mantle flows over the upward ones, this mechanism causing the utmost reconstruction of the geodynamic and metallogenic characteristics over the larger portion of the Earth's lithosphere. Our analysis confirms that the metallogenic provinces had been formed as a function of the changes in the geodynamic conditions and as a function of their positions relative to the large plume projections. The items of open and closed plume systems and the zonal distribution pattern of the main metallogenic provinces above the hot plumes remain to be the matters of debate.

Received 24 December 2002; published 9 January 2003.

Keywords: metallogeny, metallogenic provinces, Wilson cycle, plume tectonics, oil-gas basins.

Citation: Gatinskii, Yu. G., and D. V. Rundkvist (2003), Mesozoic-Cenozoic metallogenic provinces, Wilson cycle, and plume tectonics, Russ. J. Earth Sci., 5, No.1, 31-44, doi:10.2205/2002ES000110.

Copyright 2003 by the Russian Journal of Earth Sciences
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