Melt extraction and melt refertilization in mantle peridotite of the Coast Range ophiolite: An LA-ICP-MS study

M.M. Jean, J.W. Shervais, S.-H. Choi, S.B. Mukasa

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67 Scopus citations


The middle Jurassic Coast Range Ophiolite (CRO) is one of the most important tectonic elements in western California, cropping out as tectonically dismembered elements that extend 700 km from south to north. The volcanic and plutonic sections are commonly interpreted to represent a supra-subduction zone (SSZ) ophiolite, but models specifying a mid-ocean ridge origin have also been proposed. These contrasting interpretations have distinctly different implications for the tectonic evolution of the western Cordillera in the Jurassic. If an SSZ origin is confirmed, we can use the underlying mantle peridotites to elucidate melt processes in the mantle wedge above the subduction zone. This study uses laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) to study pyroxenes in peridotites from four mantle sections in the CRO. Trace element signatures of these pyroxenes record magmatic processes characteristic of both mid-ocean ridge and supra-subduction zone settings. Group A clinopyroxene display enriched REE concentrations [e.g., Gd (0.938-1.663 ppm), Dy (1.79-3.24 ppm), Yb (1.216-2.047 ppm), and Lu (0.168-0.290 ppm)], compared to Group B and C clinopyroxenes [e.g., Gd (0.048-0.055 ppm), Dy (0.114-0.225 ppm), Yb (0.128-0.340 ppm), and Lu (0.022-0.05 ppm)]. These patterns are also evident in orthopyroxene. The differences between these geochemical signatures could be a result of a heterogeneous upper mantle or different degrees of partial melting of the upper mantle. It will be shown that CRO peridotites were generated through fractional melting. The shapes of REE patterns are consistent with variable degrees of melting initiated within the garnet stability field. Models call for 3% dry partial melting of MORB-source asthenosphere in the garnet lherzolite field for abyssal peridotites and 15-20% further partial melting in the spinel lherzolite field, possibly by hydrous melting for SSZ peridotites. These geochemical variations and occurrence of both styles of melting regimes within close spatial and temporal association suggest that certain segments of the CRO may represent oceanic lithosphere, attached to a large-offset transform fault and that east-dipping, proto-Franciscan subduction may have been initiated along this transform. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-136
Number of pages24
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Cited By :32

Export Date: 3 November 2016


  • Coast Range ophiolite
  • Peridotites
  • Subduction zone melting


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