Petrogenesis of highly depleted peridotites and gabbroic rocks from the Mayarí-Baracoa Ophiolitic Belt (eastern Cuba)

Claudio Marchesi*, Carlos J. Garrido, Marguerite Godard, Joaquín A. Proenza, Fernando Gervilla, Jesús Blanco-Moreno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


The Moa-Baracoa and Mayarí-Cristal massifs (eastern Cuba) are two ophiolitic complexes mainly constituted by harzburgite tectonites and minor dunites, cut by gabbroic dykes. The Moa-Baracoa massif exhibits a well developed Moho transition zone and an incomplete crustal section made up of layered gabbros and tectonically emplaced pillow basalts. A plutonic crustal section is absent in the Mayarí-Cristal massif and mantle tectonites are in tectonic contact with arc-related volcanic rocks. Mantle peridotites are very refractory in terms of modal composition, whole rock major element and HREE contents implying that Moa-Baracoa and Mayarí-Cristal harzburgites are residues after high degrees (20-30%) of partial melting. The relative enrichment of Th, Nb, Ta and LREE in peridotites is due to re-equilibration of melting residues with percolating melts. Peridotites lost on average 6 wt% of relative MgO by intense seafloor weathering. REE contents and Mg# of melts in equilibrium with cumulate gabbros from the Moho transition zone and crustal section of the Moa-Baracoa massif coincide with those of the spatially-related pillow basalts. On the other hand, no geochemical relation has been inferred between melt in equilibrium with Mayarí-Cristal segregate and the spatially-related arc volcanics. Our results indicate that the Mayarí-Baracoa Ophiolitic Belt formed at an original back-arc spreading centre. The Moa-Baracoa massif represents a portion of MORB-like lithosphere located nearby a back-arc mid-ocean spreading ridge, and the Mayarí-Cristal massif represents a piece of transitional (MORB to IAT) mantle located closer to the paleo-volcanic arc than Moa-Baracoa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-736
Number of pages20
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


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