Peridotitic minerals of the Nidar Ophiolite in the NW Himalaya: sourced from the depth of the mantle transition zone and above
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The Nidar Ophiolite Complex (NOC) consists of a c. 10 km thick ophiolite suite in the NW Himalaya, India. The c. 7 km thick lower ultramafic part of the ophiolite body terminates against the Tso Morari Crystallines, which represent the leading edge of the Indian continental margin. Mineral inclusions from the peridotites in the lower ultramafic part of the NOC were studied, including C2/c clinoenstatite, disordered coesite and high-pressure Mg2SiO4 (probably β-Mg2SiO4). These minerals, found in two lherzolite bodies from the ophiolite's mantle section, were characterized by laser Raman spectroscopy and electron micro-probe analysis. Textural evidence supporting decompression from an ultra-high-pressure condition was also observed, such as Cr spinel exsolution needles in olivine crystals. The systematic mineral phase transitions of coesite→quartz, high-pressure clinoenstatite→orthoenstatite and β-Mg2SiO4→Cr spinel exsolution needles in olivine suggest that the mantle section of the Nidar Ophiolite evolved from the deep mantle beneath a palaeo-spreading centre. The phase stabilities of these high-pressure minerals require derivation from the depth of the mantle transition zone (410–660 km). A transport mechanism for these minerals is suggested via dunite channels along a mantle adiabat in the focused convective flow below the spreading centre. This mechanism brought these deep mantle phases into the ultramafic part of the NOC. These observations suggest that some part of the mantle section of the NOC in the NW Himalaya originated in a mid-ocean ridge setting.