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A petrographie study of the process of serpentinisation in ophiolites and the ocean crust

Prichard, Hazel Margaret 1979. A petrographie study of the process of serpentinisation in ophiolites and the ocean crust. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 68 (3) , pp. 231-241. 10.1007/BF00371544

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The process of serpentinisation is illustrated by 17 samples showing different degrees of serpentinisation chosen from a large number of peridotites and serpentinites from the ocean floor and from ophiolite complexes. Observations of textural relationships were made by optical and scanning electron microscope. Mineral identification was confirmed by X-ray diffraction. Of the serpentine polymorphs, lizardite forms during early stages of serpentinisation and displays a characteristically platy morphology. Olivine and pyroxene are replaced by lizardite until no olivine remains. At this stage chrysotile begins to crystallise as fine fibres characteristically filling veins and actually replacing lizardite throughout the rock. Antigorite is confined to sheared surfaces and is rare in the ocean floor forming the latest polymorph. Both ocean floor and ophiolite samples show well developed mesh textures in hand specimen, while a much smaller web network of serpentine occurs on some ocean floor samples. Serpentines from ophiolites show two morphological types of lizardite which may have formed at different temperatures.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Publisher: SpringerLink
ISSN: 0010-7999
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 13:21

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