Composition gradients in silicate inclusions in chromites from the dunitic mantle-crust transition (Oman ophiolite) reveal high temperature fluid-melt-rock interaction controlled by faulting

Mathieu Rospabé, Georges Ceuleneer, Mathieu Benoit, Mary-Alix Kaczmarek


The transition between the mantle section and the oceanic crust in the Maqsad area (Oman ophiolite) is mainly made of variably impregnated dunites locally associated with chromitite ore bodies. There, the dunitic transition zone (DTZ) developed above a mantle diapir that fed with MORB the former oceanic spreading centre. However, orthopyroxene and amphibole impregnations in dunites from the DTZ are witnesses of a hydrated magmatism that looks restricted to this interface. The main other piece of evidence is the nature of silicate minerals included in chromite grains scattered in dunite (e.g. amphibole, orthopyroxene, mica), which are mostly issued from a hydrated and silica-rich melt or fluid. Here, we report on a study of such inclusions along a section sampled in detail in the Maqsad DTZ. It brings critical information on the processes involved in the fluid-melt-peridotite reaction below oceanic spreading centres, complementary to the one provided by the interstitial silicates forming the matrix of the dunite. We first show that both the nature and the composition of the inclusions are well-correlated to those of the impregnations in the host dunites, then that the chemical evolution along the cross-section for all materials correlate to the presence of faults that developed at an early, syn-magmatic stage. This confirms that the early tectonic in the deep oceanic lithosphere primarily controls the fluid-melt-rock reactions and can condition chemical cycling, including for halogens (Cl, F), in oceanic spreading centre setting.


First published online: 30 April 2020


silicate inclusions; disseminated chromites; variably impregnated dunites; dunitic mantle-crust transition zone; fluid-melt-peridotite interaction; hybridization; Maqsad; Oman ophiolite.

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