Contrasting kinematic histories recorded in the sheeted dykes and underlying plutonic rocks of the Troodos ophiolite provide a new perspective on the mechanical evolution of oceanic spreading centres. The kinematic framework of the decoupling zone that partitions deformation between the sheeted dykes and plutonics contrasts with low-angle detachment models for slow-spreading ridges based on continental-rift analogues. A model for the generation of multiple, horizontal decoupling horizons, linked by planar normal faults, demonstrates new possibilities for the kinematic and rheological significance of seismic reflectors in oceanic lithosphere.
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A mechanism for decoupling within the oceanic lithosphere revealed in the Troodos ophiolite