From ocean depths to mountain tops: oceanic and continental uplift of the Troodos ophiolite, Cyprus

Date & time

1–2pm 19 January 2017


Jaeger Seminar Room (1st Floor, Jaeger 1, RSES, Mills Road, ANU)


Prof. Yaron Katzir (Ben Gurion University of the Negev)

Event series


 Jon Pownall

The Troodos ophiolite of Cyprus is a rare example of remnant oceanic lithosphere that is currently in the process of emplacement onto continental crust along an active subduction plate boundary, where incipient continental subduction/collision has started only very recently. These circumstances make the Troodos ophiolite a unique site to explore ophiolite emplacement mechanisms and re-confront the long-lasting bewilderment of how dense oceanic lithosphere is pushed upward and obducted over the continental crust rather than sink into the asthenosphere. Not less interesting, though, are the tectonics of Cretaceous seafloor spreading, well recorded in Troodos: the uplifted ophiolite exposes a fossil oceanic ridge–transform intersection (RTI), whereby serpentinized ultramafic rocks outcrop at the core of domes in both internal and external corners of the RTI. This raises the suspicion for the occurrence of fossil oceanic core complexes. In the talk we will track the uplift of the Troodos serpentinites from sub-seafloor to mountain tops using stable isotope tracers and U/Th-He thermochronology.

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