Petrogenesis of ultramafic rocks and olivine-rich troctolites from the East Taiwan Ophiolite in the Lichi mélange

Abstract

We examine ultramafic and olivine-rich troctolite blocks of the East Taiwan Ophiolite (ETO) in the Lichi Mélange. Although ultramafic rocks are extensively serpentinized, the primary minerals, such as olivine, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, spinel and plagioclase can be identified. The ultramafic rocks are classified into harzburgite (± clinopyroxene), dunite, and olivine websterite. Major and trace element compositions of the primary minerals in harzburgites, such as the Cr# [= Cr/(Cr + Al) atomic ratio] of chromian spinel (0.3–0.58) and incompatible elements-depleted trace element patterns of clinopyroxenes, indicate their residue origin after partial melting with less flux components. These compositions are similar to those from mid-ocean ridge peridotites as well as back-arc peridotites from the Philippine Sea Plate. The olivine websterite contains discrete as well as occasional locally concentrated plagioclase grains. Petrological characteristics coupled with similarity in trace element patterns of clinopyroxenes in the harzburgite and olivine websterite samples indicate that the olivine websterite is likely formed by clinopyroxene addition to a lherzolitic/harzburgitic peridotite from a pyroxene-saturated mafic melt. Dunite with medium Cr# spinels indicates cumulus or replacement by melt-peridotite reaction origins. Mineral composition of olivine-rich troctolite cannot be explained by simple crystallization from basaltic magmas, but shows a chemical trend expected for products after melt-peridotite interactions. Mineral compositions of the dunite and olivine-rich troctolite are also within chemical ranges of mid-ocean ridge samples, and are slightly different from back-arc samples from the Philippine Sea Plate. We conclude that peridotites in the ETO are not derived from the northern extension of the Luzon volcanic arc mantle. Further geochronological study is, however, required to constrain the origin of the ETO ophiolite, because peridotites are probably indistinguishable in petrology and mineralogy between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea/Eurasian Plates.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Yuka Nishikawa of National Taiwan University for their help in arranging the field work. We also thank S. Umino and T. Mizukami for discussions. T.M. would like to thank K. Ozawa for providing the spread sheet of Ozawa (2001). Valuable comments from K-L Wang and C-Z Liu (reviewers) and Q Wang (journal editor) improved the manuscript. This study was partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research of the Ministry of Education Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (No. 25302012, 16H05741: Kiban B,) to TM and (24684037: Wakate A) to KT.

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Correspondence to Tomoaki Morishita.

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Morishita, T., Ghosh, B., Soda, Y. et al. Petrogenesis of ultramafic rocks and olivine-rich troctolites from the East Taiwan Ophiolite in the Lichi mélange. Miner Petrol 112, 521–534 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00710-017-0547-6

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Keywords

  • East Taiwan Ophiolite
  • Peridotite
  • Open-system melting
  • Melt-peridotite interaction