Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Jan Harff, Martin Meschede, Sven Petersen, Jörn Thiede


  • Niels Jöns
  • Wolfgang Bach
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6644-0_119-1



“Serpentinization” is the process leading to the formation of serpentinites, metamorphic rocks derived from hydrous alteration of olivine-rich ultramafic rocks and consisting mainly of serpentine group minerals.


Serpentinization denotes the hydrous alteration of olivine-rich ultramafic rocks, which can occur everywhere, where these rocks and aqueous solutions react under suitable pressure and temperature conditions. In the oceanic realm, seawater-derived fluids are abundant; however, ultramafic rocks (peridotites) are typically found in the Earth’s upper mantle. Serpentinization will only take place where these rocks get in contact with seawater fluids, either by deep fluid infiltration in fracture zones and bend faults or by uplift and exposure of peridotites at or near the seafloor. During serpentinization, the primary minerals contained in a peridotite...


Lithospheric Mantle Ultramafic Rock Mantle Wedge Mantle Rock Detachment Fault 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology, Mineralogy and GeophysicsRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany
  2. 2.Department of Geosciences and MarumUniversity of BremenBremenGermany