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The Maliac Ocean: the origin of the Tethyan Hellenic ophiolites

Abstract : The Hellenides, part of the Alpine orogeny in Greece, are rich in ophiolitic units. These ophiolites and associated units emplaced during Jurassic obduction, testify for the existence of one, or several, Tethyan oceanic realms. The paleogeography of these oceanic areas has not been precisely described. However, all the authors now agree on the presence of a main Triassic-Jurassic ocean on the eastern side of the Pelagonian zone (Vardar Domain). We consider that this Maliac Ocean is the most important ocean in Greece and Albania. Here, we limit the detailed description of the Maliac Ocean to the pre-convergence period of approximately 70 Ma between the Middle Triassic rifting to the Middle Jurassic convergence period. A quick overview on the destiny of the different parts of the Maliac Ocean during the convergence period is also proposed. The studied exposures allow to reconstruct: (1) the Middle to Late Triassic Maliac oceanic lithosphere, corresponding to the early spreading activity at a Mid-Oceanic Ridge; (2) the Western Maliac Margin, widely exposed in the Othris and Argolis areas; (3) the Eastern-Maliac Margin in the eastern Vardar domain (Peonias and Paikon zones). We established the following main characteristics of the Maliac Ocean: (1) the Middle Triassic rifting marked by a rapid subsidence and volcanism seems to be short-lived (few My); (2) the Maliac Lithosphere is only represented by Middle to Late Triassic units, especially the Fourka unit, composed of WPB-OIB and MORB pillow-lavas, locally covered by a pelagic Middle Triassic to Middle Jurassic sedimentary cover; (3) the Western Margin is the most complete and our data allow to distinguish a proximal and a deeper distal margin; (4) the evolution of the Eastern Margin (Peonias and Paikon series) is similar to that of the W-Margin, except for its Jurassic terrigenous sediments, while the proximal W-Margin was dominated by calcarenites; (5) we show that the W- and E-margins are not Volcanic Passive Margins; and (6) during the Middle Jurassic convergence period, the Eastern Margin became an active margin and both margins were affected by obduction processes.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 3, 2022 - 4:49:30 PM
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Jacky Ferriere, Peter O. Baumgartner, Frank Chanier. The Maliac Ocean: the origin of the Tethyan Hellenic ophiolites. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 2016, 105, pp.1941-1963. ⟨10.1007/s00531-016-1303-6⟩. ⟨insu-03688105⟩

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