The Coast Range ophiolite (CRO) of California is one of the most extensive tracts of oceanic crust preserved in the North American Cordillera, but its origin has long remained controversial. We present here new data on mineral compositions in mantle peridotites that underlie crustal sections of the ophiolite, and show that these are dominantly refractory harzburgites related to high apparent melting in a supra-subduction zone (SSZ) setting. Abyssal peridotite (characterized by high-Al spinels and relatively high Ti, Na, Nd, Sm, Lu, and Hf in pyroxene) occurs at one location where it is associated with SSZ mantle peridotite and volcanic rocks with both oceanic and arc-like geochemistry. SSZ mantle peridotites (characterized by intermediate-Cr/ Al or high-Cr spinels, and by extremely low Ti, Na, Nd, Sm, Lu, and Hf in pyroxenes) are associated with crustal sections containing arc-related volcanic rocks, including boninites. This convergence between conclusions based on crustal lithologies and their underlying mantle sections confirms previous proposals that link the CRO to SSZ processes, and seriously undermines hypotheses that invoke formation of the ophiolite at a mid-ocean ridge spreading center. © Springer-Verlag 2008.
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Export Date: 3 November 2016