Serpentinization of the Piranshahr peridotites: investigations on serpentine polymorphs and metamorphic evolutions of the metaperidotites


1 Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran

2 بلوار 29 بهمن-دانشگاه تبریز-دانشکده علوم طبیعی-گروه علوم زمین


The study area is located in NW of Piranshahr town, Western Azerbaijan province. Based on the petrography, mineralogy and textural relations, the peridotites studied are classified into two groups: serpentinized peridotites and serpentinites. The second type, on the base of serpentine polymorphs and texture can be classified into three subgroups in turn: a) hydrated serpentinites which are characterized by low temperature serpentine polymorphs (chrysotile and lizardite), b) antigorite (high temperature serpentine polymorph) bearing serpentinites which formed at relatively high T and P conditions having interpenetrative texture and c) listwanitic serpentinites with brecciated texture containing of minerals as serpentine, chlorite and high amounts of carbonates. Distinguishing of serpentine polymorphs in the investigated rocks has been done using Raman spectroscopy and microprobe analysis. Formation of low-T serpentine polymorphs in the hydrated serpentinites are most likely related to the in-situ alteration of oceanic crust whereas antigorite in the metamorphic serpentinites is formed due to regional metamorphism during subduction and/or subsequent closure of ocean. Tremolite, clinochlore/picnochlore and Fe-rich spinel are coexisting minerals with antigorite. Temperature and pressure of the antigorite bearing serpentinites are obtained on the basis of equilibria reactions using THERMOCALC, as 550ºC and 7 kbar, respectively. On the base of olivine and pyroxene norm, the protolith composition of the Piranshahr metaperidotites is determined as harzburgite and less lherzolite. The high MgO and relatively low CaO and Al2O3 contents of the investigated rocks indicate ophiolitic characteristics of the Piranshahr metaperidotites. Considering the location of the Piranshahr ophiolites at the end of the northwestern part of the Zagros ophiolitic belt, it can be concluded that hydrated serpentinites and antigorite-bearing serpentinites are formed in relation with static oceanic floor alteration and subsequent dynamic metamorphism during subduction and/or closure of the Neotethys ocean, respectively.