Abstract

Biostratigraphic constraints for the sedimentary cover of the ophiolites preserved in Armenia are of key importance for the palaeogeographic and geodynamic reconstruction of the greater area between Eurasia and the South-Armenian block, which is a micro-continent of Gondwanian origin. We present here radiolarian data obtained from radiolarites that are intercalated in a sequence of mafic volcanic rocks on the northern flank of the Dali valley (east of Lake Sevan), which is considered to be part of the Sevan ophiolite. Mafic sills and dykes with well-preserved igneous textures are probably part of the same sequence. The pseudomorphosis of primary phases indicates that the igneous rocks are strongly affected by alteration in the greenschist facies condition. The plagiogranites that are present in this locality appear to be intrusive into the mafic sequence. The radiolarian assemblages extracted from radiolarian cherts intercalated in the mafic volcanic rocks are dated as latest Tithonian-Late Valanginian; they contain metric rounded blocks of oolitic limestones with crinoid fragments, suggesting that these shallow water limestones slid during the Jurassic/Cretaceous transition into a rugged oceanic floor in which radiolarian ooze accumulated.

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