30 samples of chromitite and chromite-rich rocks from two stratigraphic sections, 250 km apart, through the basal ultramafic member of the Samail ophiolite were spectrographically analysed for platinum-group elements (PGE) and for Co, Cu, Ni and V. These data are reported as are Cr/(Cr + Al), Mg/(Mg + Fe) and wt.% TiO2 for most samples. The chromitite occurs as pods or lenses in rocks of mantle origin or as discontinuous layers at the base of the overlying cumulus sequence. PGE abundances in both sections are similar, with average contents in chromite-rich rocks: Pd 8 ppb, Pt 14 ppb, Rh 6 ppb, Ir 48 ppb and Ru 135 ppb. The PGE data, combined with major-element and petrographic data on the chromitite, suggest: 1) relatively larger Ir and Ru contents and highest total PGE in the middle part of each section; 2) PGE concentrations and ratios do not correlate with coexisting silicate and chromite abundances or chromite compositions; 3) Pd/PGE, on average, increases upward in each section; 4) Samail PGE concentrations, particularly Rh, Pt and Pd, are lower than the average values for chromite-rich rocks in stratiform intrusions. 2) suggests that PGEs occur in discrete alloy or sulphide phases rather than in the major oxides or silicates, and 4) suggests that chromite-rich rocks from the oceanic upper mantle are depleted in PGE with respect to chondrites. L.C.C.
Additional publication details
Palladium, platinum, rhodium, iridium and ruthenium in chromite- rich rocks from the Samail ophiolite, Oman.