Petrology and geochemistry of exhumed peridotites and gabbros at non-volcanic margins: ODP Leg 173 West Iberia ocean-continent transition zone
Réjean Hébert, K. Gueddari, M. R. Laflèche, M.-O. Beslier, V. Gardien, 2001. "Petrology and geochemistry of exhumed peridotites and gabbros at non-volcanic margins: ODP Leg 173 West Iberia ocean-continent transition zone", Non-Volcanic Rifting of Continental Margins: A Comparison of Evidence from Land and Sea, R. C. L. Wilson, R. B. Whitmarsh, B. Taylor, N. Froitzheim
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Ultramafic and mafic rocks recovered at Holes 1068A and 1070A were drilled during Leg 173 of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) in the ocean-continent transition zone of the Iberia Abyssal Plain. Peridotites show contrasting petrographic characteristics. Hole 1068A peridotites are fine grained and show a well-defined high-temperature foliation marked by elongated pyroxene as well as aligned spinels. Hole 1068A peridotites are strongly serpentinized. Hole 1070A peridotites are coarse grained and show little evidence of high-temperature foliation. The degree of serpentinization is lower and relicts of silicate minerals are preserved. In both sets of recovered material, spinels show a wide range of composition and suggest a complex magmatic evolution. Gabbros dykes, which are found only in Hole 1070A, are very coarse grained and are locally sheared and/or crushed. Magmatic amphiboles are kaersutites and Ti-rich tschermakites that are partially replaced by hornblende and actinolite, and are associated with plagioclase of intermediate composition. Peridotites and pyroxenite have low TiO2, A12O3 and CaO contents in carbonate-free samples. Ni and Cr contents fall into the upper-mantle array. On the other hand, gabbros have relatively high TiO2 and V contents reflecting modal ilmenite, and suggesting that they are relatively differentiated. This paper presents the very first geochemical data on platinum group elements (PGE) of peridotites and gabbros from passive margins. Peridotites and gabbros show low PGE (25.83 ppb and 1.44 ppb), Pd (2.75 ppb and 0.15 ppb), Pd/Ir ratios (1.45 and 1.3) and mafic index. Pyroxenite has the highest PGE (27.97 ppb), Pd/Ir (19.87) and Pt/Ir (10.25). Interelemental correlation and observation of PGE-bearing sulphide phases suggest that the PGE are hosted by single sulphide phases. From a PGE point of view, extraction of magmas involved very PGE-depleted liquids similar to gabbroic veins cutting the peridotites at Hole 1070A. Partial melting is interpreted as occurring just before oceanic accretion. Geochemical attributes suggest that the peridotites belong to the Ronda and Beni Bousera peridotitic depleted end-member clan. Thus they are believed to be of subcontinental origin. Deformation and retrograde metamorphism of peridotites and gabbros are consistent with exhumation in a rift environment post-dating the 120 Ma magmatic stage.
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Non-volcanic continental margins may form up to 30% all present-day passive margins, and remnants of them are preserved in mountain belts. The papers in this volume demonstrate the benefits of integrating offshore and onshore studies, and illustrate the range of information obtained at different scales when comparing evidence from land and sea. Data sets collected across a range of spatial scales are evaluated: thin sections, cores, outcrops, seismic reflection profiles, and other geophysical data. The outcrop scale is crucial because it enables the spatial gulf to be bridged between DSDP and ODP cores and marine seismic data. There is also the problem that basins on land and beneath the sea inevitably have had different post-rift histories resulting in their contrasting present-day elevation. In mountain belts, portions of continental margins and oceanic crust are superbly exposed, but dismembered by subsequent compressional tectonics. Off present-day passive margins, extensional features have only been slightly deformed, if at all, by compressional movements, but are buried beneath significant thicknesses of post-rift sediments and so can only be sampled by ocean drilling at a small number of points.
The first paper reviews the synergies that have occurred between investigations of the eastern North Atlantic non-volcanic margins and remnants of similar Mesozoic margins preserved in the Alps, and some later papers return to this theme. However, papers describing margins from other parts of the world show that it may be premature to use models based on the Atlantic and the Alps as the paradigm for all non-volcanic margins. The following 25 papers in the book are grouped under the following headings: (1) Margin overviews; (2) Exhumed crust and mantle; (3) Tectonics and stratigraphy; (4)Numerical models of extension and magmatism.