The oxygen isotope compositions and metamorphic mineral assemblages of hydrothermally altered rocks from the Del Puerto ophiolite and overlying volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks at the base of the Great Valley sequence indicate that their alteration occurred in a submarine hydrothermal system. Whole rock ??18O compositions decrease progressively down section (with increasing metamorphic grade): +22.4??? (SMOW) to +13.8 for zeolite-bearing volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks overlying the ophiolite; +19.6 to +11.6 for pumpellyite-bearing metavolcanic rocks in the upper part of the ophiolite's volcanic member; +12.3 to +8.1 for epidote-bearing metavolcanic rocks in the lower part of the volcanic member; +8.5 to +5.7 for greenschist facies rocks from the ophiolite's plutonic member; +7.6 to +5.8 for amphibolite facies or unmetamorphosed rocks from the plutonic member. Modelling of fluid-rock interaction in the Del Puerto ophiolite indicates that the observed pattern of upward enrichment in whole rock ??18O can be best explained by isotopic exchange with discharging 18O-shifted seawater at fluid/rock mass ratios near 2 and temperatures below 500??C. 18O-depleted plutonic rocks necessarily produced during hydrothermal circulation were later removed as a result of tectonism. Submarine weathering and later burial metamorphism at the base of the Great Valley sequence cannot by itself have produced the zonation of hydrothermal minerals and the corresponding variations in oxygen isotope compositions. The pervasive zeolite and prehnite-pumpellyite facies mineral assemblages found in the Del Puerto ophiolite may reflect its origin near an island arc rather than deep ocean spreading center. ?? 1984.