Shear sense inversion in the Hilti mantle section (Oman ophiolite) and active mantle uprise

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Structural analyses in the well-exposed Hilti mantle section in the Oman ophiolite suggest a model of forceful horizontal flow in the uppermost mantle at the edge of a diapir below a oceanic spreading center. Detailed structural mapping, focussed on high-T deformation (i.e., asthenospheric flow), revealed a gently undulated flat structure with a uniform east-west flow direction. When it is related to the N–S to NNW–SSE trending, vertical sheeted dike complex located to the east, this mantle flow is parallel to the spreading direction. Because the Moho is so flat lying, a large dunite occurrence at the south-western region is possibly ascribed to the Moho Transition Zone. Kinematic analysis shows that the shear direction generally changes from top-to-the west in the upper level, to top-to-the east in the lower level with respect to the Moho. This shear sense inversion is explained by a model of forceful flow due to an active mantle uprise and it is not compatible with a passive mantle uprise. In the plan section, the boundary of the shear sense inversion is subparallel to the flow direction and subperpendicular to the spreading axis. In cross section, the boundary appears to occur at various depths in the range of 200 m to 500 m. It shows that the active mantle uprise in the diapir center resulted in a channelled horizontal flow.

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