A comparison of mantle potential temperature 1 estimates of basalts from 2 ophiolites: Significance for the tectonic setting of the East Taiwan Ophiolite

J. Gregory Shellnutt, Robert B.J. Hsieh

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The East Taiwan Ophiolite (ETO) is a fragment of the eastern-most South China Sea that 16 was accreted to the Eurasian margin during the Pliocene and is a member of the Western Pacific 17 and Cordilleran belt ophiolite group. Ophiolites of the Western Pacific and Cordilleran belt are 18 typically subduction-related (i.e. suprasubduction or volcanic-Arc) but the ETO is 19 compositionally, isotopically and mineralogically similar to subduction-unrelated ophiolites. 20 Primary melt compositions calculated from the basaltic rocks of the ETO range from high-Mg 21 basalt to picrite (i.e. MgO = 10 wt% to 14 wt%). The mantle potential temperature (TP) estimates 22 of the primary melt compositions are within the range of ambient mantle (1300oC to 1400oC) and 23 other mid-ocean ridge ophiolites (i.e. Macquarie Island and Masirah) indicating that it is 24 consistent with a mid-ocean ridge setting. Mantle potential temperature estimates of rocks from a 25 mantle-plume-Type ophiolite (i.e. 1620oC to 1630oC) are anomalously high whereas rocks from 26 suprasubduction zone ophiolites show a wider range that extends from ambient (i.e. Troodos and 27 Semail) TP to very high (i.e. Betts Cove and Bay of Islands) TP.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTerrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1



  • Mantle potential temperature
  • Ophiolite
  • South China sea
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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