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Ophiolites are sequences of mafic to ultramafic rock generally believed to represent ancient oceanic lithosphere. They are distributed all across the world being all of them located at present or past orogenic belts, sites of mountain building processes.

Ophiolites are common in orogenic belts of Mesozoic age, like those formed by the closure of the Tethys Ocean. Ophiolites in Archean and Paleoproterozoic domains are rare.[1]

A pillow lava from an ophiolite sequence, Northern Apennines, Italy


Mediterranean and Peri-ArabicEdit


  • Dongbo ophiolite
  • Loubusa ophiolite
  • Purang ophiolite



North American CordilleraEdit

Mexico and the CaribbeanEdit


  • Tortuga ophiolite complex
  • Sarmiento ophiolite complex


Eastern North AmericaEdit

  • Betts Cove, St. Anthony, Little Port, Advocate, Gander River, Pipestone Pond, Great Bend and Annieopsquotch ophiolites in Newfoundland
  • Bay of Islands Ophiolite in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 because of its superbly exposed complete ophiolite stratigraphic sequence
  • Stark's Knob Ophiolite in New York State
  • Thetford Mines ophiolite Complex (Thetford Mines, Cantons de l'Est, Québec, Canada)
  • Asbestos ophiolite (Asbestos, Cantons de l'Est, Québec, Canada)
  • Mont Orford ophiolite (Magog, Cantons de l'Est, Québec, Canada)
  • Mont Albert ophiolite (Gaspésie, Québec, Canada)

Northern EuropeEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Peltonen, P. (2005). "Ophiolites". In Lehtinen, Martti; Nurmi, Pekka A. (eds.). Precambrian Geology of Finland. Elsevier Science. pp. 237–277. ISBN 9780080457598.
  2. ^ a b Fernando Gervilla, Isabel Fanlo, Thomas N. Kerestedjian, Ricardo Castroviejo, Jose Maria, Gonzalez-Jimenez, Jose Alberto Padron, and José Feliciano Rodrigues. 2011. Alteration Mechanism of Chromite in Podiform Chromitites from two Metamorphosed Ophiolitic Complexes: Golyamo Kamenyane (Bulgaria) and Tapo (Peru)
  3. ^ P. Spadea, M. Delaloye, A. Espinosa, A. Orrego and J. J. Wagner. Ophiolite Complex from La Tetilla, Southwestern Colombia, South America
  4. ^ Stern, Charles R.; De Wit, Maarten J. (2013). "Rocas Verdes ophiolites, southernmost South America: remnants of progressive stages of development of oceanic-type crust in a continental margin back-arc basin". In Dilek, Y.; Robinson, P.T. (eds.). Ophiolites in Earth History. Geological Society, London, Special Publications. pp. 665–683.
  5. ^ LÉO A. HARTMANN and FARID CHEMALE-JÚNIOR. 2003. Mid amphibolite facies metamorphism of harzburgites in the Neoproterozoic Cerro Mantiqueiras Ophiolite, southernmost Brazil

5 - Forearc extension and sea-floor spreading in the Thetford Mines Ophiolite complex (link :

6 - Structural evolution of the Thetford Mines Ophiolite Complex, Canada: implications for the southern Québec ophiolitic belt (link :