Sequential emplacement of sheeted plutons and sill-dyke complexes: implication on crustal anatexis and lifespan of hydrothermal/geothermal systems

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 5:00 PM
Andrea Dini, CNR Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources, Pavia, Italy
Depending on initial melt composition, magma volumes, transfer rates, depth of emplacement and tectonic conditions, granite magmas can follow different crystallization paths leading to complex patterns of magmatic fluid/heat release and water-rock interaction in the host rocks at the emplacement level. In the case of multi-pulse magmatic complexes, several contact metamorphic and hydrothermal effects can overlap through time on a relatively small crustal portion. The net result of the described complex evolution is a magmatic system, where magmatic fluid exsolution, heat flow and triggering of meteoric fluid convection cells follow cyclically transient patterns with strong implication on ore forming processes and geothermal field lifespan.

Detailed field mapping, coupled with petrographic-geochronologic-geochemical-isotopic data on Late Miocene-Pleistocene granite intrusions in Tuscany provided new insights on melting processes occurred in the roots as well as on paleo-hydrothermal circuits triggered at the roof of the intrusive complexes. Tuscan granite intrusions were constructed incrementally by amalgamation (sheeted plutons) and/or multilayer dispersion (sills and laccoliths) of different magma pulses, sequentially produced as the Apennine fold belt was progressively thinned, heated and intruded by mafic magmas. Partial melting was probably triggered by multiple, small-sized mafic intrusions, that allowed temporary overstepping of dehydration melting reactions into the already pre-heated crust. Dilution in time of the magmatic activity prevented melt homogenization at depth, allowing the formation at the emplacement level of multiple, isotopically distinct, intrusive sheets instead of a single, homogeneous, hybrid pluton.

This could be also one of the major key factors explaining the prolonged hydrothermal activity recorded in this area by both fossil (Plio-Pleistocene ore deposits) and active (Larderello geothermal field) systems.