Relict chromian spinels in Tulu Dimtu serpentinites and listvenite, Western Ethiopia: implications for the timing of listvenite formation

Ayano Sofiya, Akira Ishiwatari, Naoto Hirano, Tatsuki Tsujimori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Serpentinites (massive and schistose) and listvenite occur as tectonic sheets and lenses within a calcareous metasedimentary mélange of the Tulu Dimtu, western Ethiopia. The massive serpentinite contains high-magnesian metamorphic olivine (forsterite [fo] ~96 mol%) and rare relict primary mantle olivine (Fo90–93). Both massive and schistose serpentinites contain zoned chromian spinel; the cores with the ferritchromite rims preserve a pristine Cr/(Cr+Al) atomic ratio (Cr# = 0.79–0.87), suggesting a highly depleted residual mantle peridotite, likely formed in a suprasubduction zone setting. Listvenite associated with serpentinites of smaller ultramafic lenses also contain relict chromian spinel having identical Cr# to those observed in serpentinites. However, the relict chromian spinel in listvenite has significantly higher Mg/(Mg+Fe2+) atomic ratios. This suggests that a nearly complete metasomatic replacement of ultramafic rocks by magnesite, talc, and quartz to prevent Mg–Fe2+ redistribution between relict chromian spinel and the host, that is, listvenite formation, took place prior to re-equilibration between chromian spinel and the surrounding mafic minerals in serpentinites. Considering together with the regional geological context, low-temperature CO2-rich hydrothermal fluids would have infiltrated into ultramafic rocks from host calcareous sedimentary rocks at a shallow level of accretionary prism before a continental collision to form the East African Orogen (EAO).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1621-1631
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Geology Review
Volume59
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 3

Keywords

  • East African Orogen
  • Ethiopia
  • Listvenite
  • carbonate metasomatism
  • serpentinization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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