International Geology Review, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.Several Mesozoic ophiolites in Iran formed in response to Late Cretaceous subduction initiation. Here we review the geology, petrography, mineralogy and geochemistry of mantle rocks from the Nain, Neyriz, Khoy, Esfandagheh and Fannuj ophiolites. They are remnants of Neo-Tethys ocean lithosphere formed during subduction initiation and were emplaced onto the southern flank of Eurasia. Most show SSZ-type geochemical affinity. We summarize the composition of mantle sections from these five representatives, which comprise lherzolites and harzburgites with minor dunite lenses and sometimes chromitites. Spinels in lherzolite from all regions are characterized by low chromium number [Cr# = Cr/(Al + Cr)] of 0.09 to 0.56 and plot in the abyssal peridotite field, whereas spinel in harzburgite and dunite-chromitite have Cr# of 0.41 to 0.73 and 0.45 to 0.86, respectively, showing geochemical affinities with forearc peridotites and boninites, respectively. Lherzolites and harzburgites have low rare earth element (REE) contents and experienced around 15% and 25% partial melting, respectively. Ophiolitic peridotites from the Nain (inner Zagros ophiolitic belt), Khoy, and Neyriz (outer Zagros ophiolitic belt) complexes are depleted in light REE and show flat heavy REE patterns. By contrast, peridotites from the Fannuj (Makran ophiolitic zone) and Esfandagheh (outer Zagros ophiolitic belt) complexes are characterized by flatter and U-shaped REE patterns, respectively, similar to those of SSZ peridotites. Based on the compositions of olivine and spinel, we infer that chromitites and their dunite envelopes experienced wider variations in oxygen fugacity (fO2), equilibrium temperatures, and spinel Cr# values than those of the surrounding lherzolites and harzburgites, suggesting interaction between residual mantle harzburgites and H2O-rich and highly oxidized SSZ melts. Lherzolites from all regions and harzburgites of Nain, Neyriz and Fannuj are MOR-type peridotites that plot in the overlapping space of MOR peridotites and were generated in an extensional environment. These are forearc peridotites that were in equilibrium with tholeiitic melts generated during early proto-forearc or back-arc spreading during subduction initiation, whereas spinels of dunites and high-Cr chromitites were in equilibrium with boninitic melts.