Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 89, Issue 2–3, pp 239–255 | Cite as

Petrology and origin of primitive lavas from the Troodos ophiolite, Cyprus

  • W. E. Cameron


Parental magmas to the Troodos ophiolite are characterised by low TiO2 and Al2O3 and high SiO2. Extremely fresh and chemically primitive (high MgO) rocks are found within the Upper Pillow Lavas and along the Arakapas Fault Belt of Cyprus and contain forsteritic olivine±enstatite and groundmass clinopyroxene set in glass or plagioclase, with accessory magnesiochromite and sometimes hornblende. They are quartz-normative and may have originally contained up to 3 wt% H2O. Geochemically, there are three distinct groups of primitive lavas, based on TiO2 and Zr contents but also reflected by CaO, Na2O and REE abundances. These groups cannot be related by crystal fractionation and are considered to have been generated by incremental melting of a variably depleted source region. The parental magma to the least depleted group (Group I) was that of the major portion of the Troodos plutonic complex and is similar to those postulated for other “low-Ti” ophiolites. Chemically it has close affinities with komatiitic basalts. The most depleted lavas (Group III) all have U-shaped REE profiles and variable 143Nd/ 144Nd ratios, interpreted in terms of metasomatism of the source region by an incompatible element-enriched component which was probably derived from a subducted slab. These lavas represent an intermediate step in the development of boninite series rocks.


Olivine Enstatite Parental Magma 143Nd Fault Belt 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. E. Cameron
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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