Chromitites from the Vavdos ophiolite (Chalkidiki, Greece): Petrogenesis and geotectonic settings; constrains from spinel, olivine composition, PGE mineralogy and geochemistry

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  • Alkiviades Sideridis
  • Petros Koutsoviti
  • Tassos Grammatikopoulos
  • Basilios Tsikouras
  • Kostantinos Hatzipanagiotou

Organisational units

External Organisational units

  • University of Patras
  • Universiti Brunei Darussalam


Podiform chromitites of the Vavdos ophiolite are associated with dunite bodies hosted within residual mantle harzburgite. The mantle source is highly depleted and apparently developed at fore-arc settings as inferred from the presence of boninitic melts. The ascendance of these melts through dunite pathways and their subsequent interaction with the depleted harzburgite instigated chromitite mineralization within dunite. Spinel occurs in a) massive accumulations (Mg# = 0.56–0.68 and Cr# = 0.69–0.77), b) in non-massive disseminated textures (Mg# = 0.52–0.61 and Cr# = 0.80–0.81) and c) in schlieren chromitite deposits within dunite bodies (Mg# = 0.43–0.48 and Cr# = 0.79–0.82). Olivine is the main silicate inclusion in chromitites, whereas the absence of hydrous mineral phases is linked with crystallization at relatively deeper parts of the mantle. Olivine inclusions in spinel are enriched in Fo, Ni and Ca compared to the interstitial olivine grains. No compositional gaps were noted between the mineral analyses of chromitites and dunites; the calculated parental melts are also homogeneous, reinforcing the view for production of melt batches by similar processes. Platinum-group elements (PGE) concentrations and platinum-group minerals (PGM) demonstrate high (Os + Ir + Ru)/ (Rh + Pt + Pd) ratios, typical of many Tethyan ophiolitic chromitites. The main PGM phase is laurite that forms an extended solid solution series with substitution of Ru for Os + Ir, linked to the cooling of the system. Massive chromitites contain Ru-rich laurite and Os-Ir alloys whereas non-massive ores contain Ru-poor laurite. The PGM were included in fresh magnesiochromite favoring their magmatic origin and initial entrapment at ~ 1200 °C and low sulfur fugacity.


Original languageEnglish
Article number104289
Number of pages17
JournalOre geology reviews
Issue numberOctober
Early online date8 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021