, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 114–137 | Cite as

Mantle hornblendites of Naein ophiolite (Central Iran): Evidence of deep high temperature hydrothermal metasomatism in an upper mantle section

  • Ghodrat Torabi
  • Shoji Arai
  • Tomoaki Morishita
  • Akihiro Tamura


The Naein ophiolite is the most complete ophiolitic exposure in Cental Iran and considered as a remnant of the Mesozoic Central East Iranian microcontinent (CEIM) confining oceanic crust. In the northeastern part of this ophiolite (Darreh Deh area) within the mantle peridotites, a few hundred meters below the top of the Moho transition zone (MTZ), the hornblendites are present as dykes (former cracks and joints) from a few millimeters to nearly 50 cm wide. They have sharp boundaries with the surrounding mantle harzburgites and dunites. These hornblendites are pale green and coarse-grained in hand specimen and composed of magnesio-hornblende (Mg# = 0.93), chlorite (penninite and clinochlore, Mg# = 0.95), Cr-spinel (chromite, Cr# = 0.67 and Mg# = 0.55), tremolite, calcite and dolomite. Tremolites were formed by retrograde metamorphism of hornblendes. Calcite and dolomite occur as late-stage veins. Very high amount of primary hydrous phases (~94 vol % hornblende and chlorite), as well as peculiar mineralogical and chemical characteristics of the Naein ophiolite mantle hornblendites, do not match a magmatic origin. They are possibly products of the reaction between mantle peridotites and seawater-originated supercritical fluids, rich in silicate components. The presence of primary hydrous phases (hornblende and chlorite) may reveal high activity of H2O in the involved solution. The chemical composition of chromite in the hornblendites is near to the average chromite composition from the surrounding harzburgite and dunite. This suggests that the main source of Cr should be chromites of nearby peridotites, which were totally or partly dissolved by hydrothermal fluids. The positive anomaly of Eu in the chondrite-normalized REE patterns of hornblendes, high modal abundance of Ca-rich hornblende, as well as presence of calcite and dolomite, point to seawater ingression through the gabbros in to the uppermost mantle peridotites. The higher value of MgO than CaO, presence of high-Cr chromite and Cr-enrichment of hornblendes and chlorites indicate a higher contribution of peridotites rather than gabbros to the chemical characteristics of the involved fluids. This study shows that circulation of possibly seawater-derived high temperature hydrous fluids in the upper mantle can leach and provide necessary elements to form hornblendite in joints and cracks of the uppermost mantle.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ghodrat Torabi
    • 1
  • Shoji Arai
    • 2
  • Tomoaki Morishita
    • 2
  • Akihiro Tamura
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of IsfahanIsfahanIran
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesKanazawa UniversityKanazawaJapan

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