Plume-subduction interaction forms large auriferous provinces

Santiago Tassara*, José M. González-Jiménez, Martin Reich, Manuel E. Schilling, Diego Morata, Graham Begg, Edward Saunders, William L. Griffin, Suzanne Y. O'Reilly, Michel Grégoire, Fernando Barra, Alexandre Corgne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)
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Gold enrichment at the crustal or mantle source has been proposed as a key ingredient in the production of giant gold deposits and districts. However, the lithospheric-scale processes controlling gold endowment in a given metallogenic province remain unclear. Here we provide the first direct evidence of native gold in the mantle beneath the Deseado Massif in Patagonia that links an enriched mantle source to the occurrence of a large auriferous province in the overlying crust. A precursor stage of mantle refertilisation by plume-derived melts generated a gold-rich mantle source during the Early Jurassic. The interplay of this enriched mantle domain and subduction-related fluids released during the Middle-Late Jurassic resulted in optimal conditions to produce the ore-forming magmas that generated the gold deposits. Our study highlights that refertilisation of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle is a key factor in forming large metallogenic provinces in the Earth's crust, thus providing an alternative view to current crust-related enrichment models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number843
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Geodynamics
  • Geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Petrology


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