The Oman ophiolite is one of the largest and best-exposed ophiolites in the world with >450 chromitite deposits. We report here a newly identified chromitite deposit in the Wadi Rajmi in Oman. This deposit occurs within a dunitic envelope, which is surrounded by harzburgite, and consists of massive and disseminated chromitite types. The Rajmi peridotites represent depleted upper mantle rocks, which underwent >20% of partial melting and which experienced metasomatism by melts and fluids derived from a subducting slab. They demonstrate geochemical affinities similar to those of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana forearc peridotites, supporting their formation in a forearc environment. The Rajmi chromitites have low Cr# values and are classified as high-Al type. They have geochemical compositions comparable to those of chromitites crystallized from mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB)-type melts. However, the chromites in these high-Al chromitites contain various silicate inclusions (i.e. amphibole, mica), indicating a hydrous and atypical MORB nature of their parental magmas. Combined with the mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of the country rocks, we posit that the parental melts of the Rajmi high-Al chromitites had a MORB-like affinity, derived from partial melting of a nascent forearc mantle.
Thematic collection: This article is part of the Ophiolites, melanges and blueschists collection available at: https://www.lyellcollection.org/topic/collections/ophiolites-melanges-and-blueschists