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The ophiolites of the Tibetan geotraverses, Lhasa to Golmud (1985) and Lhasa to Kathmandu (1986)

Pearce, Julian A. and Wanming, Deng 1988. The ophiolites of the Tibetan geotraverses, Lhasa to Golmud (1985) and Lhasa to Kathmandu (1986). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 327 (1594) , pp. 215-238. 10.1098/rsta.1988.0127

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Ophiolite belts are found in Tibet along the Zangbo, Banggong and Jinsha River Sutures and in the Anyemaqen mountains, the eastern extension of the Kunlun mountains. Where studied, the Zangbo Suture ophiolites are characterized by: apparently thin crustal sequences (3-3.5 km); an abundance of sills and dykes throughout the crustal and uppermost mantle sequences; common intraoceanic melanges and unconformities; and an N-MORB petrological and geochemical composition. The ophiolites probably formed within the main neo-Tethyan ocean and the unusual features may be due to proximity to ridge-transform intersections, rather than to genesis at very slow-spreading ridges as the current consensus suggests. The Banggong Suture ophiolites have a supra-subduction zone petrological and geochemical composition -- although at least one locality in the Ado Massif shows MORB characteristics. However, it is also apparent that the dykes and lavas show a regional chemical zonation, from boninites and primitive island arc tholeiites in the south of the ophiolite belt, through normal island arc tholeiites in the central belt to island arc tholeiites transitional to N-MORB in the north. The ophiolites could represent fragments of a fore-arc, island arc, back-arc complex developed above a Jurassic, northward-dipping subduction zone and emplaced in several stages during convergence of the Lhasa and Qiangtang terranes. The ophiolites of the Jinsha River Suture have a N-MORB composition where analysed, but more information is needed for a proper characterization. The Anyemaqen ophiolites, where studied, have a within-plate tholeiite composition and may have originated at a passive margin: it is not, however, certain whether true oceanic lithosphere, as opposed to strongly attenuated continental lithosphere, existed in this region.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
ISSN: 1364-503X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:04

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