Absence of hydrothermal oxygen isotope variations in host rocks supports magmatic origin of the giant Grängesberg iron oxide–apatite (IOA) deposit, Central Sweden
International journal of earth sciences
AbstractThe origin of Kiruna-type iron oxide–apatite ores is controversial, and debate presently centres on a 'magmatic' versus a 'hydrothermal' mode of formation. To complement recent investigations on the Grängesberg iron oxide–apatite ore deposit in the northwestern part of the Palaeoproterozoic Bergslagen ore province in central Sweden, we investigated the oxygen isotope composition of the host rocks of this large iron oxide–apatite ore body. As the metavolcanic and metagranitoid country
... ks around the Grängesberg ore body either pre-date or are coeval with ore formation, they would be expected to record an extensive isotopic imprint if the ore body had formed by large-scale hydrothermal processes involving an externally sourced fluid. A direct magmatic formation process, in turn, would have produced localized alteration only, concentrated on the immediate vicinity of the ore body. Here, we test these two hypotheses by assessing the oxygen isotope variations in the host rocks around the main Grängesberg iron oxide–apatite ore body. We analysed oxygen isotopes in quartz from metavolcanic (n = 17) and metagranitoid host rocks (n = 14) from the vicinity of the ore body, and up to 2 km distance along and across the strike of the ore body. Remarkably, we find no significant variation in δ18O values with distance from the ore body, or any deviations in country rock δ18O from common magmatic and/or regional values. Only two samples show shifts to values more negative than the common magmatic range, indicating highly localized hydrothermal overprint only. As a large-scale, low-temperature hydrothermal origin of the ore body through voluminous fluid percolation would be expected to have left a distinct imprint on the oxygen isotope values of the country rocks, our results are more consistent with an ortho-magmatic origin for the Grängesberg iron oxide–apatite ore.