Complete mantle section of a slow-spreading ridge-derived ophiolite : An example from the Isabela ophiolite in the Philippines
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The Isabela ophiolite shows a complete ophiolite sequence exposed along the eastern coast of northern Luzon, the Philippines. It forms the Cretaceous basement complex for the northeastern Luzon block. This ophiolite is located at the northern end of a trail of ophiolites and ophiolitic bodies along the eastern margin of the Philippine Mobile Belt. This paper presents new findings regarding the nature and characteristics of the Isabela ophiolite. Peridotites from the Isabela ophiolite are relatively fresh and are composed of spinel lherzolites, clinopyroxene-rich harzburgites, depleted harzburgites and dunites. The modal composition, especially the pyroxene content, defines a northward depletion trend from fertile lherzolite to clinopyroxene-rich harzburgites and more refractory harzburgites. Variation in modal composition is accompanied by petrographic textural variations. The chromium number of spinel, an indicator of the degree of partial melting, concurs with petrographic observations. Furthermore, the Isabela ophiolite peridotites are similar in spinel and olivine major-element geochemistry and clinopyroxene rare earth-element composition to abyssal peridotites from modern mid-oceanic ridges. Petrological and mineral compositions suggest that the Isabela ophiolite is a transitional ophiolite subtype, with the fertile lherzolites representing lower sections of the mantle column that are usually absent in most ophiolitic massifs. The occurrence of the fertile peridotite presents a rare opportunity to document the lower sections of the ophiolitic mantle. The variability in composition of the peridotites in one continuous mantle section may also represent a good analogy of the melting column in the present-day mid-oceanic ridges. © 2005 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
- Island Arc
Island Arc 14(3), 272-294, 2005-09-01