Regional-scale evolution of the Laramide arc and porphyry copper province, southwestern North America

Roy E. Greig, Mark D. Barton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Porphyry copper provinces are time-space clusters of porphyry copper deposits (PCDs) that form in magmatic arcs. The evolution of the Laramide arc of southwestern North America, which hosts the Laramide porphyry copper province - the second-largest in the world - provides insight into factors contributing to its transient and localized metallogenic fertility. Regional-scale patterns are evident based on new and compiled U-Pb geochronological and whole-rock geochemical data, collected as part of an ongoing study. The migration of the locus of PCD formation coupled with shut-off of the magmatic arc and other geological evidence suggest localization of PCD formation near the southern margin of a shallowly subducting portion of the Farallon plate. Trends in increasing maximum size of PCDs and increasing SiO2 content of magmas with time correlate with the duration of arc activity in a given locale. Collectively, these trends suggest a variety of processes, including (1) uncertain ones related to local tectonic configuration, and (2) variations in crustal assimilation and/ or metasomatism, which are correlated to the local duration of arc magmatism, contributed to the richness of the Laramide porphyry copper province.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-406
Number of pages6
JournalGSA Field Guides
StatePublished - Sep 4 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Stratigraphy
  • Palaeontology


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