The Dehshir ophiolite (Central Iran): geochemical constraints on the origin and evolution of the inner Zagros ophiolite belt

H. Shafaii Moghadam*, Robert J. Stern, M. Rahgoshay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


The Late Cretaceous Dehshir ophiolite is an important element within the Inner Zagros (Nain-Baft) ophiolite belt and contains all components of a complete "Penrose ophiolite," including tectonized harzburgites, gabbros, sheeted dike complexes, pillowed basalts, and rare ultra- mafic-mafic cumulates. The cumulate rocks of this ophiolite are composed of plagioclase lherzolite, clinopyroxenite, leucogabbro, and pegmatite gabbro. All the massifs in the Inner Zagros ophiolite belt are overlain by Turonian-Maastrichtian pelagic limestones (93.5-65.5 Ma). Clinopyroxene compositions of Dehshir mafic rocks are similar to those of both boninites and island-arc tholeiites. Nearly all spinels from the inner ophiolite belt are similar to those of highly depleted harzburgites from intra-oceanic forearcs, although some Dehshir harzburgite spinels plot within the field for abyssal (mid-oceanridge basalt) peridotites. All components of the Dehshir and other ophiolites of this belt show strong suprasubduction-zone affinities, from harzburgitic mantle to ophiolitic lavas. Volcanic rocks have a mixture of dominantly arc-like (island-arc tholeiite, boninite, and calc-alkaline) and subordinate mid-oceanridge basalt-like compositional features, usually with mid-ocean-ridge basalt-like rocks at the base and arc-like rocks at the top. Our data for the Dehshir ophiolite and the similarity of these results to those for Iranian inner and outer belt ophiolites compel the conclusion that a geographically long, broad, and continuous tract of forearc lithosphere was created at about the same time during the earliest stages of subduction along the southern margin of Eurasia in Late Cretaceous time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1516-1547
Number of pages32
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of America
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


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