Abstract

Any comprehensive model for the origin of the Troodos complex and other Mideast ophiolite complexes must explain the geochemical evidence for subduction-zone involvement, the thin inferred oceanic crust, the extensional environment indicated by sheeted dikes, the existence of fault zones perpendicular to the inferred spreading axes, and the discontinuous nature of ophiolite exposures around the Arabian block. The Andaman Sea region of the Indian Ocean may provide an actualistic model for the origin of these ophiolites. There, spreading takes place in short segments above a subduction zone in the region of active spreading. The Andaman Sea model substantially accounts for the known geologic and geophysical data from the circum-Arabian ophiolite belt, and it leads to some predictions about the structural and geophysical relationships to be expected in this important belt. The model also predicts that Andaman Sea spreading-center magmas may be similar in composition to those found in the Mideast ophiolites.

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