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The Early Jurassic Bokan Mountain peralkaline granitic complex (southeastern Alaska): geochemistry, petrogenesis and rare-metal mineralization

July 29, 2014

The Early Jurassic (ca. 177 Ma) Bokan Mountain granitic complex, located on southern Prince of Wales Island, southernmost Alaska, cross-cuts Paleozoic igneous and metasedimentary rocks of the Alexander terrane of the North American Cordillera and was emplaced during a rifting event. The complex is a circular body (~3 km in diameter) of peralkaline granitic composition that has a core of arfvedsonite granite surrounded by aegirine granite. All the rock-forming minerals typically record a two-stage growth history and aegirine and arfvedsonite were the last major phases to crystalize from the magma. The Bokan granites and related dikes have SiO2 from 72 to 78 wt. %, high iron (FeO (tot) ~3-4.5 wt. %) and alkali (8-10 wt.%) concentrations with high FeO(tot)/(FeO(tot)+MgO) ratios (typically >0.95) and the molar Al2O3/(Na2O+K2O) ratio <1. The granitic rocks are characterized by elevated contents of rare earth elements (REE), Th, U and high field strength elements (HFSE) and low contents of Ca, Sr, Ba and Eu, typical of peralkaline granites. The granites have high positive εNd values which are indicative of a mantle signature. The parent magma is inferred to be derived from an earlier metasomatized lithospheric mantle by low degrees of partial melting and generated the Bokan granitic melt through extensive fractional crystallization. The Bokan complex hosts significant rare-metal (REE, Y, U, Th, Nb) mineralization that is related to the late-stage crystallization history of the complex which involved the overlap of emplacement of felsic dikes, including pegmatite bodies, and generation of orthomagmatic fluids. The abundances of REE, HFSE, U and Th as well as Pb and Nd isotopic values of the pluton and dikes were modified by orthomagmatic hydrothermal fluids highly enriched in the strongly incompatible trace elements, which also escaped along zones of structural weakness to generate rare-metal mineralization. The latter was deposited in two stages: the first relates to the latest stage of magma emplacement and is associated with felsic dikes that intruded along the faults and shear deformations, whereas the second stage involved ingress of hydrothermal fluids that both remobilized and enriched the initial magmatic mineralization. Mineralization is mostly composed of new minerals. Fluorine complexing played a role during the transportation of REE and HFSE in hydrothermal fluids and oxygen isotopes in the granites and quartz veins negate the significant incursion of an external fluid and support a dominantly orthomagmatic hydrothermal system. Many other REE-HFSE deposits hosted by peralkaline felsic rocks (nepheline syenites, peralkaline granites and peralkaline trachytes) were formed by a similar two stage process.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2014
Title The Early Jurassic Bokan Mountain peralkaline granitic complex (southeastern Alaska): geochemistry, petrogenesis and rare-metal mineralization
DOI 10.1016/j.lithos.2014.06.005
Authors Jaroslav Dostal, Daniel J. Kontak, Susan M. Karl
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title LITHOS
Series Number
Index ID 70118434
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center

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