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Title: Evolution and mineralization of volcanic arc sequences : Tyrone Igneous Complex, Northern Ireland
Author: Hollis, Steven Philip
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 8517
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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The Tyrone Igneous Complex of Northern Ireland forms an integral part of the Grampian-Taconic orogen, linking the well documented sectors of Scotland, western Ireland and Newfoundland. The orogen records the accretion of a series of peri-Laurentian affinity arcs, ophiolites and microcontinental blocks to the Laurentian margin between the Late Cambrian and Middle Ordovician. The Tyrone Igneous Complex is broadly divisible into two distinct units: the c. 484-480 Ma ophiolitic Tyrone Plutonic Group and the structurally overlying c. 475-469 Ma arc-related Tyrone Volcanic Group. Both were intruded by a synvolcanogenic and syncollisional, to postcollisional high-level ensialic intrusive suite between c. 470 and 464 Ma associated with their coeval obduction to an outboard peri-Laurentian microcontinental block, the Tyrone Central Inlier, at c. 470 Ma. The Tyrone Plutonic Group is principally composed of amphibolite-facies layered and isotropic gabbros, sheeted dolerite dykes and rare pillow lavas. Tholeiitic suprasubduction affinity geochemical characteristics, Nd- isotope constraints, zircon inheritance, and the presence of late Fe-Ti enriched post-obduction dykes suggest the Tyrone Plutonic Group formed above a N-dipping subduction zone by the propagation of a spreading centre into a microcontinental block. The Tyrone Volcanic Group is characterized by mafic to intermediate lavas, tuffs, rhyolite, banded chert, ironstone and argillaceous sedimentary rocks cut by numerous high-level synvolcanogenic intrusive rocks. Geochemical signatures are consistent with formation in an evolving peri-Laurentian island-arc which underwent several episodes of rifting. High LILE and LREE enrichment, calc- alkaline geochemical signatures and strongly negative εNd t values suggest the Tyrone arc was at least partially founded on a fragment of microcontinental crust, which may have rifted off the Tyrone Central Inlier during the formation of the Tyrone Plutonic Group. Stong temporal, stratigraphic, and geochemical correlations with elements within the Annieopsquotch Accretionary Tract of Newfoundland suggest the Tyrone Igneous Complex represents a third phase of arc-ophiolite obuction in the Irish Caledonides during the Grampian-Taconic orogeny and may potentially host significant VMS mineralization. Through a combination of field mapping and petrochemistry several stratigraphic horizons have been identified in the Tyrone Igneous Complex, favourable for the formation and preservation of VMS deposits. Each is closely associated with hydrothermal alteration, synvolcanogenic faults and high-level synvolcanogenic intrusions of dolerite, gabbro, diorite and tonalite. Episodic rifting is recorded by the eruption of: abundant non-arc type Fe-Ti enriched eMORB (‘icelandite’), island-arc tholeiite, OIB-like alkali basalt, high-temperature tholeiitic rhyolites with flat to U-shaped REE profiles, and high-Zr rhyolites, within the calc-alkaline dominated sequence. Rift related mafic lavas occur in the hangingwall to VMS-style mineralization and are closely associated with ironstones (often Au-bearing) and/or argillaceous sedimentary rocks representing volcanic quiescence. Extensive hydrothermal alteration, characterized by Na-depletion, high Ba/Sr, Bi, Sb, Ni, CCPI, AI and variable MgO and CaO, allows specific target areas to be identified. In the lower bimodal-mafic Tyrone arc and backarc, hydrothermal alteration is associated with Zn-Cu mineralized float. Pb-Zn-Cu-Au mineralization occurs in silicified auriferous rhyolite domes/flows and/or volcaniclastic rocks of the syncollisional bimodal-felsic upper Tyrone arc. Ophiolite hosted Cu mineralization is characterized by chalcopyrite stringers hosted in sheeted dyke sequences.
Supervisor: Roberts, Stephen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available