Abstract

There are four main types of boninites in ophiolite suites, which either spatially coexist with ophiolites though belong to other tectonic units (1), or are present as later constituents of ophiolite sequences (crosscutting dikes or lavas on top) (2), or build ophiolite sequences together with island-arc tholeiites and basaltic andesites, followed by younger volcanics of MORB or BABB affinites (3), or occupy the whole mafic portion of ophiolite sequences, together with island-arc tholeiites and basaltic andesites (4). The latter type, considered in more detail for the case of ophiolites from the southeastern Sayan Mountains (Siberia, Russia), presents an example of inconsistency between the model of ophiolite formation in mid-ocean ridge settings and subduction-related island-arc fingerprints in ophiolitic mafic rocks. The patterns of boninites record several evolution models of oceanic systems, with melting and intrusion of boninites in forearc, arc, and back-arc settings. The existing models are controversial, possibly, because there is no single mechanism to account for all types of boninites.

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