Petrology, geochemistry and paleogeographic reconstruction of the East Sulawesi Ophiolite, Indonesia

Ade Kadarusman, Sumio Miyashita, Shigenori Maruyama, Christopher D. Parkinson, Akira Ishikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


The East Sulawesi Ophiolite (ESO) is tectonically dismembered and widely distributed in Central and East Sulawesi. It comprises, from base to top, residual mantle peridotite and mafic-ultramafic cumulate through layered to isotropic gabbro, to sheeted dolerites and basaltic volcanic rocks. Residual peridotite is dominantly spinel lherzolite intercalated with harzburgite and dunite. Ultramafic rocks from different locations display significant differences in rock composition and mineral. However, the clinopyroxene of peridotite displays REE pattern similarities with those of mid-ocean ridge (MOR) origin, rather than those of suprasubduction zone (SSZ) origin. The gabbroic unit consists of massive gabbro, layered gabbro, mafic and ultramafic cumulate and anorthosite. The observed crystallization sequence of gabbroic unit, which is olivine→(spinel)→plagioclase→clinopyroxene→ (orthopyroxene)→(hornblende), and the mineral chemistry data indicate that the ESO gabbro has similarities with MOR setting. Major and trace element geochemistry of basalt and dolerite suggests MOR, oceanic plateau and minor SSZ origins. A possible oceanic plateau origin is supported by the following: (i) the 15-km thickness is comparable with the thickness of oceanic plateau rather than normal oceanic lithosphere; (ii) there are no or only minor olivine phenocrysts in the basalt; and (iii) predominance of aphyric texture in the basalts. The REE pattern of ESO basalt exhibits N-MORB-like signatures. However, a negative Nb anomaly in the trace element spider diagram may be attributed to mantle heterogeneity of an OPB source. The geochemical variations and disparities for both peridotite and basalt and the noncogenetic relationship between crust and mantle sections in several locations suggest that the ESO may have been formed at one tectonic setting and was later overprinted by magmatism in different environments through its birth to emplacement. A possible Cretaceous origin of an oceanic plateau component of the ESO is indicated on the basis of calculated paleopositions using plate trajectory analyses together with previously published paleolatitude data. The ESO can be traced back to the proximity of the presently active region of the SW Pacific Superplume.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-83
Number of pages29
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 8 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Geochemistry
  • Oceanic plateau basalt
  • Ophiolite
  • Sulawesi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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