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Did the Troodos ophiolite of Cyprus form during subduction inception?

Ribeiro, Julia, MacLeod, Christopher J. ORCID: and Lissenberg, C. Johan ORCID: 2023. Did the Troodos ophiolite of Cyprus form during subduction inception? Chemical Geology 641 , 121774. 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2023.121774
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Understanding whether ophiolites formed during subduction inception or above long-lived subduction zones poses an outstanding challenge as modern examples of incipient subduction zones are rare. It is generally agreed that the Troodos ophiolite of Cyprus was formed at a spreading center above a subduction zone within the closing Neo-Tethys Ocean during the Late Cretaceous; beyond this, however, details of its geodynamic origin have been widely debated. To explore this problem, we examine further the analogy previously made between the Troodos ophiolite and the Mariana fore-arc, by here comparing extrusive rocks from the Troodos ophiolite to Pliocene-aged basalts from the southeastern Mariana fore-arc rifts (SEMFR), which formed by near-trench spreading above a highly dehydrating, mature subducted slab. The SEMFR basaltic glasses and olivine-hosted melt inclusions possess the highest markers of water-rich, slab-fluids (Rb/Th, Cs/Th, H2O/Ce, Ba/Th) of any worldwide arc magmas, a signature that may be consistent with efficient slab dehydration within ~90–100 km from the trench. Troodos ophiolite lavas, which have preserved fresh glasses, recorded similar, elevated slab-fluid markers to those of the SEMFR glasses. Although geodynamic comparisons cannot be direct, we nevertheless propose that the chemical similarities in these slab-fluid markers support the formation of the Troodos ophiolite above a highly dehydrating, shallow subducted plate in a near-trench setting. Unlike the southern Marianas, lack of juvenile arc volcanism and associated volcaniclastics, but presence of an extensive boninitic sheeted dyke complex with associated extrusive section, demonstrates that Troodos presumably developed by organized seafloor spreading in a near-trench setting, immediately following subduction inception of the Neo-Tethyan plate. As such, the chemical similarities between the SEMFR magmas and the Troodos ophiolite can only be used to provide constraints upon the geodynamic and the petrogenetic conditions of magma formation. Hence, deciphering precisely the original setting of ophiolites requires us to integrate thoroughly accurate geology and petrographic descriptions, along with comparison with modern analogues of infant subduction zones.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0009-2541
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 October 2023
Date of Acceptance: 7 October 2023
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 09:51

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