Troodos Ophiolite

March 11, 2003


Provided by and copyright: Lisa Tauxe, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Lisa Tauxe

The above picture was taken last April on the island of Cyprus and shows the Troodos ophiolite, which is a section of oceanic crust created about 92 million years ago in what was then the Tethys Ocean. In essence, the tip of the current Troodos mountain range formed 8,000 meters (26,000 ft) below sea level. This ophiolite was later thrust, through complex geological processes, more than 2,000 meters (6,500 ft) above sea level. Over the eons, erosion has lowered the elevations of the Troodos range - the highest point today is approximately 1,950 meters (6,340 ft) above sea level. The Troodos ophiolite consists of basic and ultrabasic pillow lavas, fringed by sheeted dikes. On the photo, to the left (foreground), is a prominent feeder dike of the ophiolite, and in the background, associated sheet flows are evident.

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