On the role of melt-rock reaction in mantle shear zone formation in the Othris Peridotite Massif (Greece)

Arjan H. Dijkstra*, Martyn R. Drury, Reinoud L.M. Vissers, Julie Newman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


A 1-km-wide peridotite mylonite shear zone is exposed in the Othris peridotite massif in central Greece. The mylonites contain lenses of relatively coarse olivine crystals, which are interpreted as remnants of the tectonite microstructure in the adjacent wall rocks. Microstructure and texture analysis using light and SEM microscopy suggests that the dominant deformation mechanism in the tectonites was dislocation creep, whereas the deformation in the mylonites was probably controlled by grain-size sensitive (GSS) creep in fine-grained (<50 μm) bands consisting of a mixture of olivine and orthopyroxene. The development of the fine-grained material in the mylonites can be explained by a melt-present reaction taking place in the tectonite protolith. This reaction led to the replacement of orthopyroxene porphyroclasts by fine-grained olivine and orthopyroxene. Tectonites adjacent to the mylonite zone preserve evidence for this reaction in the form of rims of fine-grained olivine and orthopyroxene around orthopyroxene porphyroclasts. This study illustrates the significance of rheological weakening of oceanic mantle lithosphere as a result of a change from dislocation to GSS creep.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1431-1450
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Melt-rock reaction
  • Microstructures
  • Ophiolite
  • Peridotite mylonite
  • Peridotite tectonite
  • Shear localisation


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