SUPERGENE PROCESSES

Subduction zones not only return oceanic lithosphere into the mantle, but are also sites where chemical components are transferred from the downgoing plate back to the surface of the arc. Under favorable tectonic and climatic conditions, supergene deposits form by leaching, transport and concentration of metals from deeper orebodies that have been exposed at the surface.

At the NMTM we study metal recycling processes at different timescales, i.e., from recent effects related to groundwater upflow to processes in the range of 10’s of million years. We use geochemical proxies to track supergene metal enrichment, with an emphasis on commodities such asĀ  Cu, Fe, Au, Ag, Li, I y rare earth elements. This also offers an underexploited opportunity to determine the long-distance flow of groundwater in an arc setting and its structural control.