Ancient rocks off the coast of Oman reveal insights into subduction

Subduction is a geological process during which a plaque tectonic sinks into another plate of weak density, creating a subduction zone. Recently, a study was conducted on why some of these areas are eroded while others remain stable over time. She suggests that the oldest rocks on the side from Oman could provide information on this phenomenon.

In reality, the subduction sometimes occurs when a plaque oceanic moves across the ocean or when a continental plate is pushed into the mantle. However, sometimes subduction fails when the crust mainland rises and returns to the surface with oceanic crustal plates and coat superior.

In addition, the results of this study were published in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Analysis of these results allowed the researchers to better understand the course of subduction.

Minerals that formed between 81 and 77 million years old

The rocks adjacent to the formation of Saikh Hat in Oman were used to study the subduction timeline. Thanks to techniques sophisticatedsuch as the measurement of isotopes and oligoelementsscientists have been able to determine that the minerals present in these rocks were formed between 81 and 77 million years old.

What’s interesting is that they were all dated by slightly different methods, but they all gave us essentially the same results. This tells us that all minerals in rocks have a consistent history. They all record the same metamorphic episode at the same time.»

Joshua Garber, Research Assistant Professor of Geosciences at Penn State

Furthermore, the mineral dating present in these rocks has led to a better understanding of important process tectonics.

The formation of ophiolites during the subduction process

Some results from the same study indicated that the continental crust did not sink to the mantle terrestrial before the formation of the ophiolite during the sinking of the rocks of Oman. Indeed, the training ophiolite corresponds to the uplift of the Earth’s mantle with the return of the oceanic plates towards the oceans. This phenomenon is caused by stopping the subduction of continental plates to the terrestrial mantle.

In addition, according to scientists, the connection between high-density rocks and continental materials leads to subduction zone collapse. However, after the rupture of this connection during the sinking of the plates, there is the formation of the ophiolite causing the end of the subduction and the rise of continental plates.


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