Abstract

Room temperature Mössbauer and electron-probe measurements of Fe3+/ΣFe in chromite from the mantle section of the Oman ophiolite define two groups of samples: a low Fe3+/ΣFe group (with Fe3+/ΣFe = 0.21–0.36) have cr# = Cr/(Cr + Al) in the range 0.49 0.75, whereas a smaller more geographically localized high Fe3+/ΣFe group (with Fe3+/ΣFe = 0.71 – 0.78) have a more restricted range of cr# ratios of 0.72–0.75. The low Fe3+/ΣFe chromitites have–very variable Fe3+/ΣFe ratios. They are thought to have crystallized from melts that have interacted with depleted mantle and thereby acquired their variable Fe3+/ΣFe ratio. The high Fe3+/ΣFe chromitites are restricted to one small area of the mantle and their high oxidation state is thought to be post magmatic. They are either the product of later heating, related to melt flux or interaction with a later oxidising melt. A difference in oxygen fugacity between the MORB-depleted harzburgite host, which is at the quartz–fayalite–magnetite (QFM) buffer and the later chromite-bearing melts (QFM + 2) implies that there is–a real difference in the oxidation state of the MORB and arc-magma sources.

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