Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Ph. D. Student, Department of Geology, Faculty of Earth Science, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Geology, Faculty of Earth Science, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Research Institute for Earth Sciences, Geological Survey of Iran, Tehran, Iran

4 Ph.D., Geological Survey of Iran, Tehran, Iran


The Forumad ophiolite pillow lavas crop out at west of Sabzevar and at the periphery of north central Iran microcontinent.  These lavas include Upper Cretaceous pelagic limestone with microfossils and are classified in two Late Turonian- Santonian and Coniacian- Late Campanian groups. These basaltic pillow lavas have tubular and flattened forms, with external (vitrified), medial (variolite) and internal (intergranuler) parts. Each part has its own texture with mineral composition of clinopyroxene ± plagioclase ± olivine. The medial part is characterized by formation of skeletal crystals of olivine and lesser extend of plagioclase, indicating high nucleation rate. The nature of Late Turonian- Santonian lavas is tholeiitic and Coniacian- Late Campanian lavas are tholeiitic and calc-alkaline. Despite of enrichment in LILE, relative depletion of HFSE, different enrichment in LREE and various linear trends of HREE which suggest the formation of pillow lavas in the arc environment and the heterogeneous mantle with varying degrees of partial melting, but low ratios of Th/ Yb, La/ Nb, Ce/ Nb and Ce/ Th indicate that they are more inclined to intermediate between IAB and MORB environments. Unlike Late Turonian – Santonian lavas, high ratios of La/Yb, Nb/ Yb in Late Coniacian – Late Campanian lavas represent mantle fertility and decrease of Nb/ Ta ratios as well as relative increase of Th exhibit the effect of partial melting of subducted slab in genesis of these lavas. The depth of partial melting was 40 to 70 km in the spinel lherzolite stability zone. It seems that the formation of Forumad ophiolitic pillow lavas is accrued in a marginal basin to a back arc basin of a supra-subduction zone.  


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