Late Precambrian Balkan-Carpathian Ophiolite — A Slice of the Pan-African Ocean Crust?: Geochemical and Tectonic Insights from the Tcherni Vrah and Deli Jovan Massifs, Bulgaria and Serbia
MORB, ophiolite, Precambrian, Pan-African-Cadomian connection, Balkan-Carpathian region
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
The Balkan-Carpathian ophiolite (BCO), which outcrops in Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania, is a Late Precambrian (563 Ma) mafic/ultramafic complex unique in that it has not been strongly deformed or metamorphosed, as have most other basement sequences in Alpine Europe. Samples collected for study from the Tcherni Vrah and Deli Jovan segments of BCO include cumulate dunites, troctolites, wehrlites and plagioclase wehrlites; olivine and amphibole-bearing gabbros; anorthosites; diabases and microgabbros; and basalts representing massive flows, dikes, and pillow lavas, as well as hyaloclastites and umbers (preserved sedimentary cover). Relict Ol, Cpx and Hbl in cumulate peridotites indicate original orthocumulate textures. Plagioclase in troctolites and anorthosites range from An60 to An70. Cumulate gabbro textures range from ophitic to poikilitic, with an inferred crystallization order of Ol-(Plag+Cpx)-Hbl. The extrusive rocks exhibit poikilitic, ophitic and intersertal textures, with Cpx and/or Plag (Oligoclase-Andesine) phenocrysts. The major opaques are Ti-Magnetite and Ilmenite. The metamorphic paragenesis in the mafic samples is Chl-Trem-Ep, whereas the ultramafic rocks show variable degrees of serpentinization, with lizardite and antigorite as dominant phases. Our samples are compositionally and geochemically similar to modern oceanic crust. Major element, trace element and rare earth element (REE) signatures in BCO basalts are comparable to those of MORB. In terms of basalt and dike composition, the BCO is a ‘high-Ti’ or ‘oceanic’ ophiolite, based on the classification scheme of Serri [Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 52 (1981) 203]. Our petrologic and geochemical results, combined with the tectonic position of the BCO massifs (overlain by and in contact with Late Cambrian island arc and back-arc sequences), suggest that the BCO may have formed in a mid-ocean ridge setting. If the BCO records the existence of a Precambrian ocean basin, then there may be a relationship between the BCO and the Pan-African ophiolites from the Arabian–Nubian Shield. We suggest that the BCO is the missing link between the Pan-African and the Avalonian–Cadomian peripheral orogens of Murphy and Nance [Geology 19 (1995) 469].
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 110, issues 3-4, p. 299-318
Scholar Commons Citation
Savov, Ivan P.; Ryan, Jeffrey G.; Haydoutov, Ivan; and Schijf, Johan, "Late Precambrian Balkan-Carpathian Ophiolite — A Slice of the Pan-African Ocean Crust?: Geochemical and Tectonic Insights from the Tcherni Vrah and Deli Jovan Massifs, Bulgaria and Serbia" (2001). School of Geosciences Faculty and Staff Publications. 1130.