Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor's Name

Andrew W. Macfarlane

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Rosemary Hickey-Vargas

Third Advisor's Name

Jennifer L. Gebelein

Fourth Advisor's Name

Grenville Draper

Keywords

Guerrero terrane, ore lead, isotope

Date of Defense

3-30-2011

Abstract

A variety of world-class mineral deposits occur in Mesozoic and Tertiary rocks of the Guerrero terrane. New Pb isotope analyses of various crustal units and ores from distinct subterranes of the Guerrero terrane are presented to trace metal sources in these deposits and infer source reservoirs. New Sr and Nd isotope results are provided to gain insight into the provenance of the crustal rocks from the Guerrero terrane.

Triassic schist samples from the Arteaga Complex and Triassic-Jurassic phyllite and slate samples from the Tejupilco metamorphic suite contain radiogenic Pb (206Pb/204Pb = 18.701-19.256) relative to bulk earth models. Cretaceous sedimentary rocks of the Zihuatanejo Sequence are more radiogenic (206Pb/204Pb = 18.763-19.437) than samples from the Huetamo Sequence (206Pb/204Pb = 18.630-18.998). Tertiary intrusive rocks from La Verde, Inguaran, La Esmeralda, and El Malacate plot to the right of the average Pb crust evolution curve of Stacey and Kramers (206Pb/204Pb = 18.705-19.033). Ores from the La Verde and La Esmeralda porphyry copper deposits yield isotopic ratios (206Pb/204Pb = 18.678-18.723) that are generally less radiogenic than the host igneous rocks, but plot within the field defined by the sedimentary rocks from the Huetamo Sequence.

Tertiary intrusive rocks from the Zimapan and La Negra districts in the Sierra Madre terrane plot above and to the right of the Stacey-Kramers reference line (206Pb/204Pb = 18.804-18.972). Lead isotope ratios of ore minerals from the Zimapan and La Negra skarn mines (206Pb/204Pb = 18.775-18.975) resemble those of the associated igneous rocks, implying a magmatic Pb input in the skarn deposits.

New Sr and Nd isotope data on metamorphic rocks (87Sr/86Sr = 0.707757-0.726494 and 143Nd/144Nd = 0.512109-0.512653) suggest that the basement of the Guerrero terrane originated from sources that had been derived from an old cratonic area. The narrow ranges and generally low 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.704860-0.705755) and 143Nd/144Nd values (0.512765-0.512772) above that of bulk earth for igneous rocks from Inguaran, El Malacate, and La Esmeralda suggest a relatively low degree of crustal contamination. However, the isotopic values for the La Verde site (87Sr/86Sr = 0.708784 and 143Nd/144Nd = 0.512640) may indicate the involvement of a more evolved crustal component.

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