Abstract

Hornblende separates from gabbros and biotite separates from crosscutting potassic granites of the Masirah ophiolite have been analyzed by conventional K-Ar techniques. The gabbros have Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous ages (126-158 Ma), and the granites have broadly similar ages (124-146 Ma). Because the gabbros are likely to give ophiolite formation ages and the granites ophiolite emplacement ages, it can be concluded that the Masirah ophiolite was emplaced very soon after formation. The Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous ages contrast with the middle Cretaceous ages (90-95 Ma) of the Semail ophiolite, confirming earlier suggestions that the Masirah ophiolite cannot simply be a right-laterally displaced fragment of the Semail ophiolite, but is instead an uplifted block of Indian Ocean crust. The formation and emplacement of the Masirah ophiolite are discussed in the context of the late Mesozoic evolution of the western Indian Ocean.

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