Melt viscosity, temperature and transport processes, Troodos ophiolite, Cyprus Academic Article uri icon


  • The lava section in the Troodos ophiolite, Cyprus, is chemically stratified and divided into a shallow lava sequence with low TiO(2) content and a deeper lava sequence with high TiO(2) content. We calculate the viscosity at magmatic temperature based on major element chemistry of lavas in Cyprus Crustal Study Project (CCSP) Holes CY-1 and 1A. We find that typical shallow low-Ti lavas have a magmatic viscosity that is two to three orders of magnitude lower than that of the deeper high-Ti lavas. This implies that, after eruption on-axis, Troodos low-Ti lavas would have been able to flow down the same slope faster and farther than high-Ti lavas. The calculated lava viscosity increases systematically from the lava-sediment interface to the bottom of the composite Hole CY-1/1A. This suggests that an efficient process of lava segregation by viscosity on the upper flanks of the paleo Troodos rise may have been responsible for the chemical stratification in the Troodos lava pile. Calculated magmatic temperature and molar Mg/(Mg+Fe), or Mg#, decrease systematically down-section, while SiO(2) content increases. Correlation of Mg# in the lavas with Mg# in the underlying, lower crustal plutonic rocks sampled by CCSP Hole CY-4 shows that the shallow lavas came from a high-temperature, lower crustal magma reservoir which is now represented by high-Mg# pyroxenite cumulates, while the deeper lavas were erupted from a lower-temperature, mid-crustal reservoir which is now represented by gabbroic cumulates with lower Mg#. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.

publication date

  • July 2002