Mineral chemistry and geochemistry of ophiolitic metaultramafics from Um Halham and Fawakhir, Central Eastern Desert, Egypt

Abstract

This study is focused on ophiolitic metaultramafics from Um Halham and Fawakhir, Central Eastern Desert of Egypt. The rocks include serpentinized peridotites, serpentinites together with talc– and quartz–carbonates. The primary spinel relict is Al–chromite [Cr# > 60], which is replaced by Cr–magnetite during metamorphism. The high Cr# of Al–chromites resembles supra-subduction zone (SSZ) peridotites and suggests derivation from the deeper portion of the mantle section with boninitic affinity. These mantle rocks equilibrated with boninitic melt have been generated by high melting degrees. The estimated melting degrees (~ 19–24%) lie within the range of SSZ peridotites. The high Cr# of spinel and Fo content of olivine together with the narrow compositional range suggest a mantle residual origin. Serpentinized peridotite and serpentinites have low Al2O3/SiO2 ratios (mostly < 0.03) like fore-arc mantle wedge serpentinites and further indicate that their mantle protolith had experienced partial melting before serpentinization process. Moreover, they have very low Nb, Ta, Zr and Hf concentrations along with sub-chondritic Nb/Ta (0.3–16) and Zr/Hf (mostly 1–20) ratios further confirming that their mantle source was depleted by earlier melting extraction event. The high chondrite normalized (La/Sm)N ratios (average 10) reflect input of subduction-related slab melts/fluids into their mantle source.

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Data sources: fore-arc peridotites (Pearce et al. 2000; Song et al. 2009); SED ophiolitic ultramafics (Abdel-Karim et al. 2016)

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Acknowledgements

Many thanks to H.M. Helmy who kindly carried out the XRF analyses of the Major elements during his stay in Japan. Critical comments and constructive reviews by M.K. Azer and an anonymous referee and by editor, Wolf-Christian Dullo, substantially improved an early version of this manuscript.

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Abdel-Karim, A.M., Ali, S. & El-Shafei, S.A. Mineral chemistry and geochemistry of ophiolitic metaultramafics from Um Halham and Fawakhir, Central Eastern Desert, Egypt. Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch) 107, 2337–2355 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00531-018-1601-2

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Keywords

  • Ophiolite
  • Fore-arc
  • Fawakhir
  • Um Halham
  • Egypt