By Dr. Robert G. Coleman (auth.)

I was once invited to write down this booklet as a part of the Minerals, Rocks and natural fabrics sequence of Springer-Verlag through Professor Peter J. Wyllie in 1974. Ophiolites have preoccupied me ever given that 1948 as a graduate pupil and as much as the current time as a part of my study with the U.S. Geological Survey. in this interval ophiolite, an imprecise ecu geological time period, has attained an ever-increasing value, is now used to incorporate all fragments of old oceanic lithosphere integrated into the orogenic zones of recent and historical continental margins, and is a customary a part of the plate tectonic paradigm. the aim of this ebook is to supply a place to begin for an individual attracted to the heritage and country of data bearing on ophiolites (ancient oceanic lithosphere). simply because ophiolites symbolize fragments of previous oceanic crust their tectonic atmosphere and age are very important within the reconstruction of historical plate obstacles. current­ day plate tectonic theories contain the new release and disposal of oceanic lithosphere, in order that those old fragments of oceanic lithosphere can be utilized on to reconstruct stipulations in the historic oceans. due to the fact that 1970, quite a few conferences and meetings without delay on the topic of ophiolites have inspired all over the world curiosity within the topic. As a part of the overseas Correlation software, the undertaking "Ophiolites of Continents and related Oceanic Rocks," was once initiated by means of Dr. N. Bogdanov, Geological Institute, Moscow. This undertaking has introduced jointly a global workforce that has considering the exceptional difficulties and is now generating an international map of ophiolite distribution.

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It is possible that chromite Chemistry 31 accumulations may have developed within the metamorphic peridotites at different levels within the mantle and that the high-alumina massive chromitites represent deep mantle segregations, whereas those highchromium chromitites could represent low pressure cumulate chromite deposited during the early phases of oceanic crust formation (Dickey, 1975). 4 Chemistry The metamorphic periodites have an extremely restricted range in composition again reflecting the uniqueness of their origin (Tables 1-3).

Individual layers pinch out within several meters in most cases. In many cases isoclinal folding repeats sections and exhibits a plastic style with indistinct boundaries. The folding and compositional banding appear to have been accomplished during, the high temperature and pressure mantle history of the metamorphic peridotite (Den Tex, 1969); however, these features are 24 Part III. Igneous Petrology often obscured by nearly complete serpentinization and later shallow tectonism. Nearly all ultramafic rocks react to shallow tectonism by brittle fracture and characteristically exhibit a cubic set of joints.

Fe SiD, Fe SiD, Fig. 7. Clinopyroxene and orthopyroxene compositions from ophiolite metamorphic peridotites plotted on pyroxene quadrilateral ·c 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 No. of Samples ::1: +. ,....... -. -.. ,.... , 50 Ca Mg 5i,o. Di 48 46 44 42 Ca l Ca + Mg Atomic Percent 40 38 Mg 5i03 -+ En Fig. 8. CajCa + Mg ratios of c1inopyroxenes from ophiolite metamorphic peridotites. Temperature points taken from the diopside-enstatite solvus at 30 kbars from Boyd (1970) of these orthopyroxenes with a nearly constant 10 mol- % of ferrosilite solid solution (Fig.

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