Abstract

The Neoproterozoic Dunrossness Spilite Subgroup of south Shetland, Scotland, has been interpreted as a series of komatiitic and mafic lava flows formed in a marginal basin in response to Laurentian continental margin rifting. We show that ultramafic rocks previously identified as komatiites are depleted mantle peridotites that experienced seafloor hydrothermal alteration. The presence of positive Bouguer gravity and aeromagnetic anomalies extending from the Dunrossness Spilite Subgroup northward to the Shetland Ophiolite Complex suggests instead that these rocks may form part of an extensive ophiolite sliver, obducted during Iapetus Ocean closure in a forearc setting.

Supplementary material: Supplementary information, including methods, supplementary figures and tabulated data, is available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3469161.

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