High- and low-Cr chromitite and dunite in a Tibetan ophiolite: evolution from mature subduction system to incipient forearc in the Neo-Tethyan Ocean

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Abstract

The microstructures, major- and trace-element compositions of minerals and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) maps of high- and low-Cr# [spinel Cr# = Cr3+/(Cr3+ + Al3+)] chromitites and dunites from the Zedang ophiolite in the Yarlung Zangbo Suture (South Tibet) have been used to reveal their genesis and the related geodynamic processes in the Neo-Tethyan Ocean. The high-Cr# (0.77–0.80) chromitites (with or without diopside exsolution) have chromite compositions consistent with initial crystallization by interaction between boninitic magmas, harzburgite and reaction-produced magmas in a shallow, mature mantle wedge. Some high-Cr# chromitites show crystal-plastic deformation and grain growth on previous chromite relics that have exsolved needles of diopside. These features are similar to those of the Luobusa high-Cr# chromitites, possibly recycled from the deep upper mantle in a mature subduction system. In contrast, mineralogical, chemical and EBSD features of the Zedang low-Cr# (0.49–0.67) chromitites and dunites and the silicate inclusions in chromite indicate that they formed by rapid interaction between forearc basaltic magmas (MORB-like but with rare subduction input) and the Zedang harzburgites in a dynamically extended, incipient forearc lithosphere. The evidence implies that the high-Cr# chromitites were produced or emplaced in an earlier mature arc (possibly Jurassic), while the low-Cr# associations formed in an incipient forearc during the initiation of a new episode of Neo-Tethyan subduction at ~130–120 Ma. This two-episode subduction model can provide a new explanation for the coexistence of high- and low-Cr# chromitites in the same volume of ophiolitic mantle.

LanguageEnglish
Article number45
Pages1-22
Number of pages22
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Volume172
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

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dunite
chromitite
Chromite
ophiolite
chromites
oceans
chromite
subduction
Electron diffraction
Earth mantle
ocean
diopside
diffraction
Geodynamics
Silicates
electron diffraction
Trace Elements
Crystallization
mantle
Chemical analysis

Keywords

  • Compositions and microstructures of chromitites
  • High- and low-Cr chromitite and dunite
  • Melt–peridotite interaction
  • Subduction episodes in Neo-Tethyan Ocean
  • Tibetan ophiolites

Cite this

@article{96ab82e33af14275ad65e8d50cf3dcba,
title = "High- and low-Cr chromitite and dunite in a Tibetan ophiolite: evolution from mature subduction system to incipient forearc in the Neo-Tethyan Ocean",
abstract = "The microstructures, major- and trace-element compositions of minerals and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) maps of high- and low-Cr# [spinel Cr# = Cr3+/(Cr3+ + Al3+)] chromitites and dunites from the Zedang ophiolite in the Yarlung Zangbo Suture (South Tibet) have been used to reveal their genesis and the related geodynamic processes in the Neo-Tethyan Ocean. The high-Cr# (0.77–0.80) chromitites (with or without diopside exsolution) have chromite compositions consistent with initial crystallization by interaction between boninitic magmas, harzburgite and reaction-produced magmas in a shallow, mature mantle wedge. Some high-Cr# chromitites show crystal-plastic deformation and grain growth on previous chromite relics that have exsolved needles of diopside. These features are similar to those of the Luobusa high-Cr# chromitites, possibly recycled from the deep upper mantle in a mature subduction system. In contrast, mineralogical, chemical and EBSD features of the Zedang low-Cr# (0.49–0.67) chromitites and dunites and the silicate inclusions in chromite indicate that they formed by rapid interaction between forearc basaltic magmas (MORB-like but with rare subduction input) and the Zedang harzburgites in a dynamically extended, incipient forearc lithosphere. The evidence implies that the high-Cr# chromitites were produced or emplaced in an earlier mature arc (possibly Jurassic), while the low-Cr# associations formed in an incipient forearc during the initiation of a new episode of Neo-Tethyan subduction at ~130–120 Ma. This two-episode subduction model can provide a new explanation for the coexistence of high- and low-Cr# chromitites in the same volume of ophiolitic mantle.",
keywords = "Compositions and microstructures of chromitites, High- and low-Cr chromitite and dunite, Melt–peridotite interaction, Subduction episodes in Neo-Tethyan Ocean, Tibetan ophiolites",
author = "Qing Xiong and Hadrien Henry and Griffin, {William L.} and Zheng, {Jian Ping} and Takako Satsukawa and Pearson, {Norman J.} and O’Reilly, {Suzanne Y.}",
year = "2017",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s00410-017-1364-y",
language = "English",
volume = "172",
pages = "1--22",
journal = "Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology",
issn = "0010-7999",
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T1 - High- and low-Cr chromitite and dunite in a Tibetan ophiolite

T2 - Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

AU - Xiong, Qing

AU - Henry, Hadrien

AU - Griffin, William L.

AU - Zheng, Jian Ping

AU - Satsukawa, Takako

AU - Pearson, Norman J.

AU - O’Reilly, Suzanne Y.

PY - 2017/6/1

Y1 - 2017/6/1

N2 - The microstructures, major- and trace-element compositions of minerals and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) maps of high- and low-Cr# [spinel Cr# = Cr3+/(Cr3+ + Al3+)] chromitites and dunites from the Zedang ophiolite in the Yarlung Zangbo Suture (South Tibet) have been used to reveal their genesis and the related geodynamic processes in the Neo-Tethyan Ocean. The high-Cr# (0.77–0.80) chromitites (with or without diopside exsolution) have chromite compositions consistent with initial crystallization by interaction between boninitic magmas, harzburgite and reaction-produced magmas in a shallow, mature mantle wedge. Some high-Cr# chromitites show crystal-plastic deformation and grain growth on previous chromite relics that have exsolved needles of diopside. These features are similar to those of the Luobusa high-Cr# chromitites, possibly recycled from the deep upper mantle in a mature subduction system. In contrast, mineralogical, chemical and EBSD features of the Zedang low-Cr# (0.49–0.67) chromitites and dunites and the silicate inclusions in chromite indicate that they formed by rapid interaction between forearc basaltic magmas (MORB-like but with rare subduction input) and the Zedang harzburgites in a dynamically extended, incipient forearc lithosphere. The evidence implies that the high-Cr# chromitites were produced or emplaced in an earlier mature arc (possibly Jurassic), while the low-Cr# associations formed in an incipient forearc during the initiation of a new episode of Neo-Tethyan subduction at ~130–120 Ma. This two-episode subduction model can provide a new explanation for the coexistence of high- and low-Cr# chromitites in the same volume of ophiolitic mantle.

AB - The microstructures, major- and trace-element compositions of minerals and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) maps of high- and low-Cr# [spinel Cr# = Cr3+/(Cr3+ + Al3+)] chromitites and dunites from the Zedang ophiolite in the Yarlung Zangbo Suture (South Tibet) have been used to reveal their genesis and the related geodynamic processes in the Neo-Tethyan Ocean. The high-Cr# (0.77–0.80) chromitites (with or without diopside exsolution) have chromite compositions consistent with initial crystallization by interaction between boninitic magmas, harzburgite and reaction-produced magmas in a shallow, mature mantle wedge. Some high-Cr# chromitites show crystal-plastic deformation and grain growth on previous chromite relics that have exsolved needles of diopside. These features are similar to those of the Luobusa high-Cr# chromitites, possibly recycled from the deep upper mantle in a mature subduction system. In contrast, mineralogical, chemical and EBSD features of the Zedang low-Cr# (0.49–0.67) chromitites and dunites and the silicate inclusions in chromite indicate that they formed by rapid interaction between forearc basaltic magmas (MORB-like but with rare subduction input) and the Zedang harzburgites in a dynamically extended, incipient forearc lithosphere. The evidence implies that the high-Cr# chromitites were produced or emplaced in an earlier mature arc (possibly Jurassic), while the low-Cr# associations formed in an incipient forearc during the initiation of a new episode of Neo-Tethyan subduction at ~130–120 Ma. This two-episode subduction model can provide a new explanation for the coexistence of high- and low-Cr# chromitites in the same volume of ophiolitic mantle.

KW - Compositions and microstructures of chromitites

KW - High- and low-Cr chromitite and dunite

KW - Melt–peridotite interaction

KW - Subduction episodes in Neo-Tethyan Ocean

KW - Tibetan ophiolites

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