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Timing of native metal-arsenide (Ag-Bi-Co-Ni-As±U) veins in continental rift zones – In situ U-Pb geochronology of carbonates from the Erzgebirge/Krušné Hory province

Guilcher, M.; Albert, R.; Gerdes, A.; Gutzmer, J.; Burisch, M.

Hydrothermal native metal-arsenide (five-element or Ag-Bi-Co-Ni-As±U) veins are a globally occurring mineralization style, which is particularly prevalent across Central Europe. Due to the limited amount of geochronological data available, the timing and the detailed geodynamic setting in which this mineralization style formed remains insufficiently understood. To fill this gap in knowledge, we applied innovative LA-ICP-MS U-Pb geochronology on carbonates from six districts in the Erzgebirge/Krušné Hory province of Germany and Czech Republic in order to constrain the timing of ore formation in the context of the geodynamic framework of Central Europe. In situ U-Pb ages of twelve samples, including dolomite-ankerite, calcite, and siderite coeval with Ni-Co-Fe-arsenides, range from ~129 to ~86 Ma. The ages of native metal-arsenide and fluorite-barite-Pb-Zn veins from the same occurrence (Annaberg-Buchholz district) are found to be consistent with each other, providing new and direct geochronological evidence that these two styles of mineralization are genetically related and may form coevally within one hydrothermal system. Complemented with available geochronological data from other occurrences, the formation of native metal-arsenide assemblage in Central Europe can be related to continental rifting affiliated with the Mesozoic opening of the Atlantic and Alpine Tethys Oceans (~200–100 Ma). The youngest age of ~86 Ma coincide with basin inversion associated with the onset of Alpine compressional tectonics, which most likely terminates the conditions favorable for the formation of native metal-arsenide mineralization in Europe. The onset of native metal-arsenide formation in proximal positions to the main rift axis starts at ~230–200 Ma (Penninic Alps, Anti-Atlas). In contrast, it occurs systematically later with increasing distance to the rift axis – namely at ~200–130 Ma in intermediate (Schwarzwald, Odenwald, Spessart) and ~140–86 Ma in distal (Erzgebirge, Harz) positions to the main rift axis.

Keywords: Arsenide; Carbonate geochronology; Cobalt; Erzgebirge; Five-element mineralization; U-Pb LA-ICP

Permalink: https://www.hzdr.de/publications/Publ-33064
Publ.-Id: 33064