This field trip integrates economic geology with structural geology and tectonics, as well as petrology, geochemistry, and regional geology, to examine a segment of the Laramide arc that includes part of the Laramide porphyry copper province of southwestern North America. The province arguably is the second-largest porphyry copper province in the world, hosting six of the world's 25 largest porphyry deposits on the basis of contained copper metal. The Globe-Superior-Ray-San Manuel area includes about a dozen Laramide (Late Cretaceous to early Paleocene) porphyry copper deposits and the related granodioritic to granitic plutons. These plutons and their wall rocks were tectonically dismembered and variably easterly or westerly tilted (locally >90°) during Laramide contraction and subsequent mid-Cenozoic extension. The style of both shortening and extension here remains a subject of debate. Although this trip includes one brief mine visit and examination of drill core at the Resolution deposit, it will principally focus on: (1) different parts of various plutons and the associated alteration aureoles, including review of resultant mineralization, and the original sides, roots, and deep flanks of the hydrothermal systems; and (2) structure in the adjacent wall rocks and the implications for the style and timing of deformation in absolute and relative terms to hypogene ore formation. An increased understanding of the structural geology and the alteration-mineralization zonation of the dismembered hydrothermal aureoles allows an integrated view of the original geometry and size of the porphyry systems, the relationship between porphyry copper mineralization and crustal shortening, and possible origins of deep hydrothermal alteration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth-Surface Processes