Magmatic Diversity of the Wehrlitic Intrusions in the Oceanic Lower Crust of the Northern Oman Ophiolite

Friday, 19 December 2014
Ryu Kaneko, Yoshiko Adachi and Sumio Miyashita, Niigata University, Niigata, Japan
The Oman ophiolite extends along the east coast of Oman, and is the world’s largest and best-preserved slice of obducted oceanic lithosphere. The magmatic history of this ophiolite is complex and is generally regarded as having occurred in three stages (MOR magmatism, subduction magmatism and intraplate magmatism). Wehrlitic intrusions constitute an important element of oceanic lower crust of the ophiolite, and numerous intrusions cut gabbro units in the northern Salahi block of this ophiolite. In this study area, we identified two different types of wehrlitic intrusions. One type of the intrusions mainly consists of dunite, plagioclase (Pl) wehrlite and mela-olivine (Ol) gabbro, in which the crystallization sequence is Ol followed by the contemporaneous crystallization of Pl and clinopyroxene (Cpx). This type is called “ordinary” wehrlitic intrusions and has similar mineral compositions to host gabbros (Adachi and Miyashita 2003; Kaneko et al. 2014). Another type of the intrusions is a single intrusion that crops out in an area 250 m × 150 m along Wadi Salahi. This intrusion consists of Pl-free “true” wehrlite, in which the crystallization sequence is Ol and then Cpx. The forsterite contents (Fo%) of Ol from the “ordinary” wehrlitic intrusions and “true” wehrlitic intrusions have ranges of 90.8-87.0 (NiO = 0.36-0.13 wt%) and 84.7 (NiO = 0.31 wt%), respectively. Cr numbers (Cr#) of Cr-spinel from the “true” wehrlitic intrusions show higher Cr# value of 0.85 than those of the “ordinary” wehrlitic intrusions (0.48-0.64). But the former is characterized by very high Fe3+ values (YFe3+ = 0.49-0.68). Kaneko et al. (2014) showed that the “ordinary” ubiquitous type has similar features to MOR magmatism and the depleted type in the Fizh block (Adachi and Miyashita 2003) links to subduction magmatism. These types are distinguished by their mineral chemistries (TiO2 and Na2O contents of Cpx). The TiO2 and Na2O contents of Cpx from the “true” wehrlitic intrusions have 0.38 wt% and 0.26 wt%, respectively, and plot on the field of MOR magmatism. The most-evolved Ol (Fo% = 84.7) from the wehrlitic intrusions has high NiO (0.31 wt%) and plots on the olivine mantle array (Takahashi 1986). It is suggested that heterogeneity of source mantle influences the magmatic diversity of the wehrlitic intrusions.