Dating the geologic history of Oman’s Semail ophiolite: insights from U-Pb geochronology

Warren, Clare J.; Parrish, Randall R.; Waters, David J. and Searle, Michael P. (2005). Dating the geologic history of Oman’s Semail ophiolite: insights from U-Pb geochronology. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 150(4) pp. 403–422.




Eclogites from the deepest structural levels beneath the Semail ophiolite, Oman, record the subduction and later exhumation of the Arabian continental margin. Published ages for this high pressure event reveal large discrepancies between the crystallisation ages of certain eclogite-facies minerals and apparent cooling ages of micas. We present precise U-Pb zircon (78.95 ± 0.13 Ma) and rutile (79.6 ± 1.1 Ma) ages for the eclogites, as well as new U-Pb zircon ages for trondhjemites from the Semail ophiolite (95.3 ± 0.2 Ma) and amphibolites from the metamorphic sole (94.48 ± 0.23 Ma). The new eclogite ages reinforce published U-Pb zircon and Rb-Sr mineral-whole rock isochron ages, yet are inconsistent with published interpretations of older 40Ar/39Ar phengite and Sm-Nd garnet dates. We show that the available U-Pb and Rb-Sr ages, which are in tight agreement, fit better with the available geological evidence, and suggest that peak metamorphism of the continental margin occurred during the later stages of ophiolite emplacement.

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