Pre-metamorphic hydrothermal alteration with gold in a mid-Archaean island arc, Godthåbsfjord, West Greenland
Recently discovered volcaniclastic rocks of andesitic composition form major parts of the mid-Archaean, amphibolite facies supracrustal belts at Qussuk, on Bjørneøen and on part of Storø in western Godthåbsfjord (Fig. 1). These rocks are interpreted as an island arc that represents the onset of the magmatic accretion of the Akia terrane 3070 Ma ago; this terrane is the north-westernmost of several Archaean tectono-stratigraphic terranes in the Nuuk region, which were all amalgamated by 2720 Ma (cf. Hollis et al. 2006). The presence of the arc in the Akia terrane points to similarities between high-grade orthogneiss-amphibolite associations in West Greenland and lower-grade granite-greenstone terrains of other Archaean cratons e.g. in Canada and Western Australia. Volcaniclastic rocks belonging to the ancient arc have been subject to intense synvolcanic, hydrothermal alteration associated with gold-copper mineralisation especially in parts of the Qussuk area. Another important gold prospect occurs on central Storø, which is currently being explored by NunaMinerals A/S (Knudsen et al. 2007 – this volume). This contribution presents new field observations from some of the best preserved parts of the ancient arc at Qussuk and on Bjørneøen, while it remains unclear if the volcano-sedimentary associations and their gold mineralisation at Qussuk, Bjørneøen and the nearby Storø share a common mid-Archaean geological history.
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