Plumes, cratons and nickel sulphide deposits

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    The formation of giant nickel sulphide deposits occurs most commonly during, or close to, the peak of supercontinent formation, and is related to the melting of large "alpha" mantle plumes. These plumes are part of a bloom of plumes that occurs in response to the build up of subducted lithosphere at the Core Mantle Boundary. The spatial localization of deposits is governed by the 3-dimensional geometry of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. Plume melting will be maximized and focused in zones of thin lithosphere adjacent to large areas of thick lithosphere typical of cratons. This "craton-margin" setting is the most favourable site where active translithospheric faults provide discrete points of melt introduction into the upper crust. At a continental-scale, narrow marginal basins and intra-continental settings provide the best sites for plume melt focus and deposit preservation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th Biennial SGA Meeting
    Subtitle of host publicationSmart Science for Exploration and Mining
    EditorsPJ Williams
    Place of PublicationTownsville, QLD
    PublisherJames Cook University
    Number of pages2
    ISBN (Print)9780980558685
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    Event10th Biennial SGA Meeting of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits - Townsville, Australia
    Duration: 17 Aug 200920 Aug 2009


    Conference10th Biennial SGA Meeting of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits


    • Magmatic nickel sulphide deposits
    • mantle plumes
    • lithosphere thickness
    • craton margins


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