Abstract

Ophicalcites were earlier found in the Lower Devonian olistostromes overlapping cobalt-bearing massive sulfide deposits in the ultramafic rocks of the West Magnitogorsk paleoisland arc. They are composed of angular clastics of serpentinites and carbonates few millimeters to several centimeters in size, which are cemented with hematite-calcite and quartz-hematite-calcite matrix with aragonite, magnesite, and siderite admixtures. In chemical composition Cr-spinels from serpentinites of the ophicalcites are similar to those from the underlying serpentinites and are suprasubduction products of active continental margins. The 13C/12C and 18O/16O ratios of calcite from the breccia matrix are typical of hydrothermal deposits and are close to those of carbonate in sulfide ores and talc-carbonate metasomatites. Study of fluid inclusions from the calcite cement has shown that the ophicalcites formed from low- to moderate-temperature (100–280 °C) hydrothermal fluids as a result of postore hydrothermal emanations on ultramafic seafloor rocks similar to modern hydrothermal fields in MORs and island arcs. Hydrothermal and tectonosedimentation processes in the roof of ultramafic massifs at the vents of hydrothermal fluids led to erosion, redeposition, and cementation of ophicalcites of four types. The subsequent tectonic and gravitational processes resulted in their denudation and accumulation in olistostromes.

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