Two heavy mineral populations characterize the siliciclastic material of the mid-Cretaceous turbidites of the Katafito Formation (‘First Flysch’) of the Pindos zone: a stable, zircon-rich group and an ophiolite-derived, chrome spinel-rich one. U/Pb and Pb/Pb dating on magmatic zircons from the stable heavy mineral group clearly illustrate the existence of Variscan magmatic complexes in the source terrain, but also provide evidence for magmatism as old as Precambrian. Based on microprobe analyses, the chrome spinel detritus was predominantly supplied from peridotites of mid-ocean ridge as well as suprasubduction zone origin. A small volcanic spinel population was mainly derived from MORB and back-arc basin basalts. The lithological variability of the mid-Cretaceous ophiolite bodies, based on spinel chemistry, is much broader than that of ophiolite complexes presently exposed in the Hellenides. The chrome spinel detritus compares closely with that from the Outer and Inner Dinarides. The source terrain of the ophiolite-derived heavy minerals was situated in a more internal palaeogeographic position than that of the Pindos zone. The zircon-rich heavy mineral group could have had either an external and/or an internal source, but the chrome spinel constantly accompanying the stable mineral detritus seems to be more indicative of an internal source terrain.

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