Hidden melting signatures recorded in the Troodos ophiolite plutonic suite: evidence for widespread generation of depleted melts and intra-crustal melt aggregation
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The main plutonic complex of the Troodos ophiolite, north of the Arakapas Fault Zone, has been re-examined both from field and geochemical perspectives. Ion microprobe analyses of clinopyroxene crystal cores show that the range of melt compositions added to the lower crust far exceeds that of published lavas in the main Troodos massif. This suggests that the lower crust acted as a filter into which a large range of melt compositions were added and out of which a homogenised (and generally fractionated) derivative was extracted. This crustal-level aggregation homogenised diverse melt fractions from a broad range of degrees of melting. Depleted melts with U-shaped rare earth element (REE) patterns were a significant component of the melts added to the crust, but because of their low incompatible element abundances, mixing with less depleted melts prior to eruption masked their signature in the lavas. The discovery that highly depleted melts constituted a significant component of the melts added to the Troodos crust, but not of the lavas, demonstrates that the spatial distribution of lava-types is not necessarily a good indicator of where different parental melt compositions are generated within the mantle. Compared with normal mid-ocean ridge basalts, the Troodos parental melts were (1) generally depleted in immobile incompatible trace elements, (2) less depleted in light REE (LREE) than would be expected for the concomitant depletion in middle and heavy REE, (3) enriched in Sr with respect to the LREE and (4) more oxidised. Modelling of these characteristics suggests a mantle source that had previously lost a significant melt fraction under relatively reducing conditions. This was followed by remelting under more oxidising conditions in an environment in which Sr and LREE were added to the source consistent with previous models of a supra-subduction zone setting.
KeywordsRare Earth Element Fault Zone Lower Crust Incompatible Trace Element Ridge Basalt
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