Segregation of magmatic fluids and their potential in the mobilization of platinum-group elements in the South Kawishiwi Intrusion, Duluth Complex, Minnesota - Evidence from petrography, apatite geochemistry and coexisting fluid and melt inclusions

Benedek Gál, Ferenc Molnár, Tibor Guzmics, Aberra Mogessie, Csaba Szabó, Dean M. Peterson

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17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pegmatitic and other felsic rock pockets and dike-like intrusions are abundant in the South Kawishiwi Intrusion of the Duluth Complex, including the basal, Cu-Ni-PGE mineralized units. These occurrences are found as pockets, pods or as veins and contain abundant accessory apatite and quartz. Quartz hosts primary fluid inclusions as well as silicate melt inclusions. Combined microthermometry and Raman spectroscopy helped to determine the bulk composition of primary fluid inclusions that are CO2-rich (95mol%) and contain small amounts of H2O (4.5mol%), CH4 (0.4mol%) and trace N2, respectively. This combined technique also made it possible to measure total homogenization temperatures of the inclusions (Thtot=~225±10°C), otherwise not detectable during microthermometry. Silicate melt inclusions have been quenched to produce homogeneous glasses corresponding to the original melt. Composition of the entrapped melt is granitoid, peraluminous and is very poor in mafic components. We interpret the melt as a product of partial melting of the footwall rocks due to the contact effect of the South Kawishiwi Intrusion. The presence of CO2 in the vapor bubbles of the quenched melt inclusions and petrographic evidence suggest that the fluid and melt inclusion assemblages are coeval. The composition of the fluid and melt phase implies that the fluid originates from the mafic magma of the South Kawishiwi Intrusion and the fluid and melt phases coexisted as a heterogeneous melt-fluid system until entrapment of the inclusions. Coexistence of primary fluid and melt inclusions makes it possible to calculate a minimum entrapment pressure (~1.7kbar) and thus estimate formation depth (~5.8km) for the inclusions. Chlorine is suggested to behave compatibly in the silicate melt phase in the fluid-melt system represented by the inclusions, indicated by the high (up to 0.3%) Cl-concentrations of the silicate melt and CO2-rich nature of the fluid. Apatite halogen-contents provide further details on the behavior of Cl. Apatite in pegmatitic pockets often has elevated Cl-concentrations compared to troctolitic rocks, suggesting enrichment of Cl with progressive crystallization. Systematic trends of Cl-loss at some differentiated melt pockets suggest that in some places Cl exsolved into a fluid phase and migrated away from its source. The segregation of Cl from the melt is probably inhibited by the presence of CO2-rich fluids until the last stages of crystallization, increasing the potential for the development of late-stage saline brines. Platinum-group minerals are often present in microcracks in silicate minerals, in late-stage differentiated sulfide veinlets and in association with chlorapatite, indicating the potential role of Cl-bearing fluids in the final distribution of PGEs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-80
Number of pages22
JournalOre Geology Reviews
Volume54
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support has been provided by the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) Hugh McKinstry Fund , the Central European Exchange Program for University Studies (CEEPUS) Scholarships , the Baross Gábor Program of the National Research and Technology Agency (NKTH), Hungary , the Austrian Science Fund (project number FWF-P23157-N21 to A. Mogessie), the Hungarian-American Enterprise Scholarship Fund (HAESF) Senior Research Programme and the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA, project number PD 105364 to T. Guzmics).

Keywords

  • Apatite
  • Duluth Complex
  • Fluid inclusion
  • Platinum-group minerals
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Silicate melt inclusion

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