Petrography and mineral chemistry of metamorphosed mantle peridotites of Nain Ophiolite (Central Iran)
Authors: Nargess Shirdashtzadeh, Ghodrat Torabi and Ramin Samadi
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Study of the petrology of the ophiolites as the relics of ancient oceanic lithosphere, is a powerful tool to reconstruct Earth’s history. Mantle peridotites have mostly undergone alteration and serpentinization to some extent. Thus, the relics of metamorphic signatures from the upper mantle and crustal processes from most of the peridotites have been ruined. Several recent papers deal with the mantle peridotites of Nain Ophiolite (e.g. Ghazi et al., 2010). However, no scientific work has been carried out on the metamorphosed mantle peridotites. The study area of the Darreh Deh that is located in the east of the Nain Ophiolite, is composed of huge massifs of metamorphosed mantle peridotites (i.e. lherzolite, clinopyroxene-bearing harzburgite, and harzburgite, and small volumes of dunite), characterized by darker color, higher topographic relief, smaller number of basic intrusives, lower serpentinization degree, and amphibolite-facies metamorphism. In this study, the petrography and mineralogy of metamorphosed peridotites in the Darreh Deh has been considered based on geochemical data.
The Mesozoic ophiolitic mélange of Nain is located in the west of CEIM, along the Nain-Baft fault. As a part of a metamorphosed oceanic crust, it is mainly composed of harzburgite, lherzolite, dunite and their serpentinized varieties, chromitite, pyroxenite, gabbro, diabasic dike, spilitized pillow lava, plagiogranite, amphibolite, metaperidotites, schist, skarn, marble, rodingite, metachert and listwaenite (Shirdashtzadeh et al., 2010, 2014a, 2014b). Geochemical investigations indicate a suprasubduction zone in the eastern branch of the Neo-Tethys Ocean (Ghasemi and Talbot, 2006; Shirdashtzadeh et al., 2010, 2014a, 2014b).
Materials and Methods
Chemical analyses of mineral compositions were carried out using a JEOL JXA8800R wavelength-dispersive electron probe micro-analyzer (accelerating voltage of 15 kV and a beam current of 15 nA) at the Centre for Cooperative Research of the Kanazawa University (Kanazawa, Japan). The Micro-Raman spectroscopy (a HORIBA Jobin Yvon, LabRAM HR800 system equipped with a 532 nm Nd:YAG laser of Showa Optronics co., Ltd, J100GS-16, and an optical microscope of Olympus, BX41, Kanazawa University) were used in determination of serpentine minerals.
The lherzolite is primarily composed olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene and Cr-spinel, but secondary hydrous and non-hydrous Mg-silicate minerals have been formed during the further serpentinization and metamorphism. Lherzolite is including of olivine (~70 Vol%, forsterite-rich), orthopyroxene (~15-20 Vol%, enstatite – bronzite), clinopyroxene (5-7 Vol%, diopside - augite), and vermicular brown Cr-spinel (<5 Vol%), chlorite (pennine – talc-chlorite), lizardite, chrysotile, talc, tremolite (tremolite - tremolitic hornblende), and neoblasts of metamorphic olivines (forsterite). Harzburgite is characterized by olivine (>60-70 Vol%, chrysolite), orthopyroxene (~30 Vol%, bronzite), a small amount of clinopyroxene, and subhedral dark brown Cr-spinel, talc, tremolite, magnetite, and chlorite. Dunites are composed exclusively of olivine, minor amounts of subhedral, dark brown Cr-spinel, serpentine, metamorphic tremolite, talc and chlorite. The rocks show secondary textures of mesh, poikiloblastic, nematoblastic and jack-straw textures, but original granublastic and porphyroclastic textures are well preserved. Pyroxenes show kink bands, warped cleavages, and undulatory extinction related to metamorphic condition of upper mantle. Petrographical features indicate that a metamorphism at amphibolite facies occurred after serpentinization and chloritization of the Darreh Deh peridotites. Chrysotile cut the primary phases of olivine and pyroxene, but not the metamorphic phases of olivine neoblasts, tremolite, talc and chlorite. Some chlorite crosscut the serpentine veins, and some are in the rim of Cr-spinel and clinopyroxenes. They are mostly replaced by tremolite. Metamorphic olivines have recrystallized as fine-grained neoblasts with lower CaO content (in comparison with the primary and replacive olivines), because they have been formed at the expense of Ca-free mineral of serpentine. Tremolite were produced after chrysotile, talc, and chlorite, wherever enough Ca2+ ions were released from the associated olivine and/or orthopyroxene by serpentinization.
Petrographical and geochemical studies indicate a greenschist-facies stage (serpentinization and chloritization) followed and overprinted by amphibolite-facies metamorphism. The regional metamorphism is verified by the formation of antigorite after lizardite and chrysotile, metamorphic olivine neoblasts after serpentines, chlorite after Cr-spinel, talc after olivine and orthopyroxene, and tremolite after pyroxene, talc, serpentine, and chlorite. The metamorphism imprints on harzburgite and dunite indicate that metamorphism has occurred after melt-rock reactions.
The authors appreciate Prof. Shoji Arai for providing geochemical facilities.
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Ghazi, J.M., Moazzen, M., Rahgoshay, M. and Shafaii Moghadam, H., 2010. Mineral chemical composition and geodynamic significance of peridotites from Nain ophiolite, Central Iran. Journal of Geodynamics, 49(5): 261-270.
Shirdashtzadeh, N., Torabi, G. and Arai, S., 2010. Metamorphism and metasomatism in the Jurassic of Nain ophiolitic mélange, Central Iran. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie – Abhandlungen, 255(3): 255–275.
Shirdashtzadeh, N., Torabi, G., Meisel, T., Arai, S., Bokhari, S.N.H., Samadi, R. and Gazel, E., 2014a. Origin and evolution of metamorphosed mantle peridotites of Darreh Deh (Nain Ophiolite, Central Iran): Implications for the Eastern Neo-Tethys evolution. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie – Abhandlungen, 273(1): 89–120.
Shirdashtzadeh, N., Torabi, G. and Samadi, R., 2014b. Geochemistry of pillow lavas and their clinopyroxene: ophiolitic mélanges of Nain and Ashin (Northeast of Isfahan Province). Journal of Economic Geology, 6(1): 49-70. (in Persian with English abstract)