Metal Earth Partners: Melissa Anderson, University of Toronto; Mark Hannington, Ottawa University
New work by the Metal Oceans team on the Modern-Ancient Crust Project (Metal Oceans) of Metal Earth explores the geology and geochemistry of the newly-discovered Tinakula seafloor massive sulphide deposit in the Jean Charcot Troughs (JCT), SW Pacific.
The JCT are some of the youngest back-arc rifts on the planet, forming ~4 Ma. The Tinakula deposit is located where back-arc magmas have exploited a crustal-scale structure that bisects the back-arc, formed during the opening of the adjacent North Fiji Basin. This work highlights the importance of arc-orthogonal pre-existing structures in the formation of large VMS deposits.
"Along-arc geophysical surveys are rare on the seafloor, yet this is a critical missing piece of the puzzle in our understanding of the architecture of the upper crust in relation to metallogenesis. The identification of arc-orthogonal structures in the geologic record is challenging, yet may be key to understanding metal endowment in ancient greenstone belts." - Melissa Anderson, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto