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A revised age, structural model and origin for the North Pennine Orefield in the Alston Block, northern England: intrusion (Whin Sill)-related base metal (Cu–Pb–Zn–F) mineralization

Dempsey, E. D. and Holdsworth, R. E. and Selby, D. and Bird, A. and Young, B. and Le Cornu, C. (2021) 'A revised age, structural model and origin for the North Pennine Orefield in the Alston Block, northern England: intrusion (Whin Sill)-related base metal (Cu–Pb–Zn–F) mineralization.', Journal of the Geological Society., 178 (4). jgs2020-226.

Abstract

Mineralization and associated fluid migration events in the c. 1500 km2 North Pennine Orefield (NPO) are known to be associated with tectonic activity, but the age of these tectonic events and origins of the base metal sulfide mineralization remain unresolved. New fieldwork in the Alston Block shows that mineralization post-dates a weakly developed phase of north–south shortening consistent with far-field Variscan basin inversion during the late Carboniferous. New observations of field relationships, coupled with microstructural observations and stress inversion analyses, together with Re–Os sulfide geochronology show that the vein-hosted mineralization (apart from barium minerals) was synchronous with a phase of north–south extension and east–west shortening coeval with emplacement of the Whin Sill (c. 297–294 Ma). Thus the development of the NPO was related to an early Permian regional phase of transtensional deformation, mantle-sourced hydrothermal mineralization and magmatism in northern Britain. Previously proposed Mississippi Valley Type models, or alternatives relating mineralization to the influx of Mesozoic brines, can no longer be applied to the development of the NPO in the Alston Block. Our findings also mean that existing models for equivalent base metal sulfide fields worldwide (e.g. Zn–Pb districts of Silesia, Poland and Tennessee, USA) may need to be reassessed.

Item Type:Article
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2020-226
Date accepted:26 January 2021
Date deposited:30 April 2021
Date of first online publication:11 March 2021
Date first made open access:30 April 2021

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