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Uplift and exposure of serpentinized massifs: modeling differential serpentinite diapirism and exhumation of the troodos mantle sequence, Cyprus

Uplift and exposure of serpentinized massifs: modeling differential serpentinite diapirism and exhumation of the troodos mantle sequence, Cyprus
Uplift and exposure of serpentinized massifs: modeling differential serpentinite diapirism and exhumation of the troodos mantle sequence, Cyprus

Serpentinized mantle peridotites form prominent mountains, including the highest elevations of the Troodos ophiolite in Cyprus (Mount Olympus, 1,952 m), but to date, only qualitative mechanisms have been proposed to explain the uplift of mantle rocks to high altitudes. Serpentinization reactions between mantle rocks and water result in profound changes to the rheology and physical properties of peridotites including significant density reduction (∼900 kg/m 3). Field observations, density measurements, and isostatic uplift and erosional modeling provide new constraints on the contribution of serpentinization to the uplift of the Troodos Mantle Sequence. Different serpentinization styles have resulted in two distinct serpentinite domains with contrasting densities. Our modeling shows that the Troodos Mountains can form within the geologically constrained uplift time frame (∼5.5 Myr) exclusively through partial serpentinization reactions. We interpret the serpentinite domains as two nested diapirs that formed due to different extents of serpentinization and density reduction. Differential uplift and exhumation have decoupled the two serpentinite diapirs from the originally overlying ocean crustal rocks. Once at high altitudes the incursion of meteoric water reinforced coupled deformation-alteration-recrystallization processes in the shallow subsurface producing a localized low density completely serpentinized diapir. A second decoupling between the contrasting serpentinite diapirs results in localized differential uplift and exhumation, extruding deep materials to the east of Mount Olympus. Application of our modeling to other serpentinite massifs (e.g., St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks, New Idria, California) highlights the contribution of isostasy to the uplift of serpentinized massifs.

Troodos ophiolite, diapirism, differential exhumation, serpentinization, uplift
0148-0227
Evans, Aled
fba637eb-1639-46ad-b9e5-3747eb01c72e
Teagle, Damon
396539c5-acbe-4dfa-bb9b-94af878fe286
Craw, Dave
a3a52d6d-2bc2-45cc-96ee-e37eb84055ce
Henstock, Timothy
27c450a4-3e6b-41f8-97f9-4e0e181400bb
Falcon-Suarez, Ismael Himar
f14858f6-d086-4761-9dc5-ba09bd89d95b
Evans, Aled
fba637eb-1639-46ad-b9e5-3747eb01c72e
Teagle, Damon
396539c5-acbe-4dfa-bb9b-94af878fe286
Craw, Dave
a3a52d6d-2bc2-45cc-96ee-e37eb84055ce
Henstock, Timothy
27c450a4-3e6b-41f8-97f9-4e0e181400bb
Falcon-Suarez, Ismael Himar
f14858f6-d086-4761-9dc5-ba09bd89d95b

Evans, Aled, Teagle, Damon, Craw, Dave, Henstock, Timothy and Falcon-Suarez, Ismael Himar (2021) Uplift and exposure of serpentinized massifs: modeling differential serpentinite diapirism and exhumation of the troodos mantle sequence, Cyprus. Journal of Geophysical Research, 126 (6), [e2020JB021079]. (doi:10.1029/2020JB021079).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Serpentinized mantle peridotites form prominent mountains, including the highest elevations of the Troodos ophiolite in Cyprus (Mount Olympus, 1,952 m), but to date, only qualitative mechanisms have been proposed to explain the uplift of mantle rocks to high altitudes. Serpentinization reactions between mantle rocks and water result in profound changes to the rheology and physical properties of peridotites including significant density reduction (∼900 kg/m 3). Field observations, density measurements, and isostatic uplift and erosional modeling provide new constraints on the contribution of serpentinization to the uplift of the Troodos Mantle Sequence. Different serpentinization styles have resulted in two distinct serpentinite domains with contrasting densities. Our modeling shows that the Troodos Mountains can form within the geologically constrained uplift time frame (∼5.5 Myr) exclusively through partial serpentinization reactions. We interpret the serpentinite domains as two nested diapirs that formed due to different extents of serpentinization and density reduction. Differential uplift and exhumation have decoupled the two serpentinite diapirs from the originally overlying ocean crustal rocks. Once at high altitudes the incursion of meteoric water reinforced coupled deformation-alteration-recrystallization processes in the shallow subsurface producing a localized low density completely serpentinized diapir. A second decoupling between the contrasting serpentinite diapirs results in localized differential uplift and exhumation, extruding deep materials to the east of Mount Olympus. Application of our modeling to other serpentinite massifs (e.g., St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks, New Idria, California) highlights the contribution of isostasy to the uplift of serpentinized massifs.

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More information

Published date: 30 May 2021
Keywords: Troodos ophiolite, diapirism, differential exhumation, serpentinization, uplift

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 450353
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/450353
ISSN: 0148-0227
PURE UUID: f359fda3-9435-46ef-98ce-88a73efdfc84
ORCID for Damon Teagle: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4416-8409
ORCID for Timothy Henstock: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2132-2514

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 Jul 2021 18:13
Last modified: 24 Jul 2021 01:37

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