Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 476–493 | Cite as

Origin of Chromitites in the Songshugou Peridotite Massif, Qinling Orogen (Central China): Mineralogical and Geochemical Evidence

  • Huichao Rui
  • Jiangang JiaoEmail author
  • Mingzhe Xia
  • Jingsui Yang
  • Zhaode Xia
Special Issue on Ophiolite, Orogenic Magmatism and Metamorphism Dedicated to IGCP 649: Diamonds and Recycled Mantle


The Songshugou peridotite massif is located in the north of Shangdan suture zone, North Qinling orogenic belt of Central China. The massif is mainly composed of fine-grained mylonitic dunites, coarse-grained dunites, fine- and coarse-grained harzburgites, and minor clinopyroxenites. The coarsegrained dunites as well as parts of the harzburgites host small-scale chromitites. Chromite grains from various textural types of chromitites and dunites pervasively contain primary and secondary silicate inclusions. Primary inclusions are dominated by monophase olivine, with minor clinopyroxene and a few multiphase mineral assemblages consisting of olivine and clinopyroxene. Secondary inclusions, mainly Cr-chlorite and tremolite, show irregular crystal shapes. Besides, Cr2O3 contents (0.08 wt.%–0.71 wt.%) of primary olivine inclusions are remarkably higher than those of interstitial olivine (<0.1 wt.%). Chromites in the Songshugou peridotite massif are high-Cr type, with Cr# and Mg# values ranging of 67.5–87.6, and 23.4–41.2, respectively. The Cr-chlorite, formed by reactions between olivine and chromite in the presence of fluid under middle temperature, indicates the Songshugou peridotite massif has undergone alteration/metamorphism process during emplacement. Chromite grains are modified by these processes, resulting in the various degrees of enrichment of Fe2O3, Cr2O3, Zn, Co and Mn, depletion of MgO, Al2O3, Ga, Ti and Ni. Due to low silicate/chromite ratios in the massive ores, chromites from them are slightly influenced by alteration/metamorphism and thus preserve the pristine magmatic compositions. The parental magma calculated based on them has 11.17 wt.%–13.57 wt.% A12O3 and 0.15 wt.%–0.27 wt.% TiO2, which is similar to the parental melts of high-Cr chromitites from elsewhere and comparable with those of boninites. Combined with informations from previous studies, major and trace elements geochemistry of chromite, as well as the nature of the parental magma, it can be revealed that the Songshugou chromitities formed in a supra-subduction zone environment.


peridotite chromitite chromite trace element parental magma Songshugou Qinling Orogen 


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This research was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41672064) and the International Geoscience Programme “Diamonds and Recycled Mantle” (No. IGCP-649). The final publication is available at Springer via

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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, Part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth SciencesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Deep-Earth Dynamics of Ministry of Natural Resources, Institute of GeologyChinese Academy of Geological SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Earth Science and ResourcesChang’an UniversityXi’anChina

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