Mineral chemistry and melt evolution of the mantle wedge peridotites in the Late Cretaceous Zagros Belt ophiolites (Iran): clues for the subduction initiation-induced forearc magmatism

Ghorbani G., Moghadam H. S., Dilek Y., Arai S., Khedr M. Z.

Journal of the Geological Society, vol.181, no.4, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 181 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1144/jgs2023-209
  • Journal Name: Journal of the Geological Society
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Artic & Antarctic Regions, Compendex, Environment Index
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


We investigate in this paper mineral compositions and geochemical evolution of the mantle wedge peridotites preserved in the Late Cretaceous Zagros ophiolites of SW Iran. Mantle peridotites above subduction zones commonly experience distinct melting, depletion and refertilization processes as a result of the circulation of fluids derived from subducting slabs and flux melting. Our results reveal that the mantle wedge peridotites in the Zagros ophiolites are characterized mainly by residual and impregnated types. Residual peridotites resulted from early depletion and later refertilization processes, whereas impregnated peridotites developed due to episodic melt impregnations within and across the mantle. Mg#s and NiO contents, spinel Cr#, Mg#, and TiO2 in olivines, Mg# and Al2 O3 contents of orthopyroxenes, and Mg#, TiO2 and Al2O3 contents in clinopyroxenes of dunites, harzburgites and lherzolites indicate the significant role of re-equilibration processes among different mineral phases and interactions with basaltic melts percolating within the host peridotites. The observed geochemical variations in the mineral chemistry of the Zagros peridotites reflect changes in magma chemistry and fluctuations in the degree of melt extraction and melt–rock interactions within the mantle peridotites. However, our data suggest that Mg–Fe distribution in the spinels of some dunites and harzburgites might also have resulted from subsolidus redistribution and exchange with surrounding olivine grains. Spinel and clinopyroxene phases in gabbroic rocks and ultramafic cumulates within the Zagros ophiolites also show significant variations in their compositions, suggesting that their magmas evolved from MORB-like to IAT, calc–alkaline and boninite suites, typical of subduction initiation-generated melts. Hence, the Zagros ophiolites present a case study of time-progressive melt evolution of the forearc oceanic lithosphere.