Two discriminative diagrams are proposed to separate island-arc tholeiites (1AT) and ocean-floor tholeiites (OFT). The first diagram, Ti/Cr vs. Ni, has been drawn using 84 island-arc (IAT) and 178 ocean-floor (OFT) samples with silica contents between 40 and 56%. About 97% of OFT and 93% of IAT samples fall, respectively, on opposite sides of the empirical boundary. In the second diagram, where the Ba/Y is less than 4.4 for the OFT and more than 3.9 for the IAT, the overlap between the two groups is about 6%.Owing to alteration effects, only the discrimination diagram Ti/Cr vs. Ni has been applied to ophiolitic basalts from the Mediterranean belts, Newfoundland, Central and North America, and Mongolia. The effusive and hypabyssal formations plotting either in one group or in the other lead to the suggestion that they have been formed in several possible geotectonical environments. It appears that ophiolites generated in a mid-oceanic ridge are scarce in opposition to those formed in an island-arc setting. In this latter case, ophiolite associations may correspond to the juxtaposition of either island-arc – marginal basin or island-arc – offshore oceanic crust formations.

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