Alteration of mélange-hosted chromitites from Korydallos, Pindos ophiolite complex, Greece: evidence for modification by a residual high-T post-magmatic fluid

Argyrios N Kapsiotis


The peridotites from the area of Korydallos, in the Pindos ophiolitic massif, crop out as deformed slices of a rather dismembered sub-oceanic, lithospheric mantle section and are tectonically enclosed within the Avdella mélange. The most sizeable block is a chromitite-bearing serpentinite showing a mesh texture. Accessory, subhedral to euhedral Cr-spinels in the serpentinite display Cr# [Cr/(Cr + Al)] values that range from 0.36 to 0.42 and Mg# [Mg/(Mg + Fe2+)] values that vary between 0.57 and 0.62, whereas the TiOcontent may be up to 0.47 wt.%. The serpentinite fragment is characterized by low abundances of magmaphile elements (Al2O3: 0.66 wt.%, CaO: 0.12 wt.%, Na2O: 0.08 wt.%, TiO2: 0.007 wt.%, Sc: 4 ppm) and enrichment in compatible elements (Cr: 2780 ppm and Ni: 2110 ppm). Overall data are in accordance with derivation of the serpentinite exotic block from a dunite that was formed in the mantle region underneath a back-arc basin before tectonic incorporation in the Korydallos mélange.

Two compositionally different chromitite pods are recognized in the studied serpentinite fragment, a Cr-rich chromitite and a high-Al chromitite, which have been ascribed to crystallization from a single, progressively differentiating MORB/IAT melt. Although both pods are fully serpentinized only the Al-rich one shows signs of limited Cr-spinel replacement by an opaque spinel phase and clinochlore across grain boundaries and fractures. Modification of the ore-making Cr-spinel is uneven among the Al-rich chromitite specimens. Textural features such as olivine replacement by clinochlore and clinochlore disruption by serpentine indicate that Cr-spinel alteration is not apparently related to serpentinization. From the unaltered Cr-spinel cores to their reworked boundaries the Al2O3and MgO abundances decrease, being mainly compensated by FeOand Cr2O3increases. Such compositional variations are suggestive of restricted ferrian chromite (and minor magnetite) substitution for Cr-spinel during a short-lived but relatively intense, low amphibolite facies metamorphic episode (temperature: 400–700 °C). The presence of tremolite and clinochlore in the interstitial groundmass of the high-Al chromitite and their absence from the Cr-rich chromitite matrix imply that after chromitite formation a small volume of a high temperature, post-magmatic fluid reacted with Cr-spinel, triggering its alteration.


Ferrian chromite; Cr-spinel; Metamorphism; Ophiolites; Pindos

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