Abstract

Komatiites are reported for the first time in the northern part of the Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica. These rocks, dated at 89.7 ± 1.4 Ma (Turonian) by 40Ar/39Ar methods, occur as a large, elongated (14 km long, 1.5 km wide) N60°W striking body in the ophiolitic Nicoya Complex. These lavas have high MgO (26%–29%), Ni, and Cr, have high CaO/Al2O3 (0.98–1.08) and moderate Al2O3/TiO2 (5.55–8.44) ratios, and are depleted in Al2O3 (4%–5.5%), K2O (0.02%–0.37%), and TiO2 (0.59%–0.9%). Although these lavas are cumulates, their geochemical composition indicates an origin from a primary komatiitic magma, with a melting temperature of 1700 °C at a depth of 150 km. Similarities in the petrology and age (88–90 Ma) of Gorgona, Curaìao, and Nicoya-Tortugal mafic and ultramafic volcanic rocks suggest that these rocks had a common origin. These occurrences suggest a single hotspot center over a large area of the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific Mesozoic region due to a major thermal anomaly in the mantle, such as a hot, rising, convective plume.

This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.