A polyphase history of oceanic construction and consumption is documented by the distribution of the Tethyan ophiolitic suture zones in Iran. Despite the geodynamic significance of these suture zones, few modern petrological and geochronological data are available from these ophiolitic domains, hampering a full assessment of the timing, thermobaric regimes and palaeotectonic scenarios leading to oceanic suturing and continental assembly in Iran and, more in general, along the southern margin of Eurasia. In this paper, we describe a newly discovered HP ophiolite mélange within the Rasht ophiolites, at the NW termination of the Palaeo-Tethyan suture in Iran. Petrological investigations on the metamorphic units embedded within the ophiolite mélange are integrated with whole-rock geochemistry and Ar–Ar phengite geochronology to constrain the geotectonic setting of formation and to define the associated P–T–t paths. We provide evidence that the Rasht ophiolite domain corresponds to an exhumed subduction complex formed during Early Carboniferous (c. 350 Ma) subduction of a branch of the Palaeo-Tethyan oceanic realm, with peak metamorphism equilibrated under blueschist- to eclogite-facies metamorphic conditions. Implications of these data for the palaeotectonic reconstruction during closure of the Palaeo-Tethyan ocean and the terminal collisional assembly along the southern margin of the Eurasia plate are also discussed.
Supplementary material: Analytical methods and protocols are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3706852
- Received October 1, 2016.
- Revision received January 7, 2017.
- Accepted January 11, 2017.
- © 2017 The Author(s)