The age, origin and emplacement of the Tsiknias Ophiolite, Tinos, Greece

Thomas N. Lamont, Nick M.W. Roberts, Michael P. Searle, Phillip Gopon, David J. Waters, Ian Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The Tsiknias Ophiolite, exposed at the highest structural levels of Tinos, Greece, represents a thrust sheet of Tethyan oceanic crust and upper mantle emplaced onto the Attic-Cycladic Massif. We present new field observations and a new geological map of Tinos, integrated with petrology, THERMOCALC phase diagram modelling, U-Pb geochronology and whole rock geochemistry, resulting in a tectono-thermal model that describes the formation and emplacement of the Tsiknias Ophiolite and newly identified underlying metamorphic sole. The ophiolite comprises a succession of partially dismembered and structurally repeated ultramafic and gabbroic rocks that represent the Moho Transition Zone. A plagiogranite dated by U-Pb zircon at 161.9 ± 2.8 Ma, reveals that the Tsiknias Ophiolite formed in a supra-subduction zone setting, comparable to the "East-Vardar Ophiolites", and was intruded by gabbros at 144.4 ± 5.6 Ma. Strongly sheared metamorphic sole rocks show a condensed and inverted metamorphic gradient, from partially anatectic amphibolites at P-T conditions of ca. 8.5 kbar 850-600 °C, down-structural section to greenschist-facies oceanic metasediments over ~250 m. Leucosomes generated by partial melting of the uppermost sole amphibolite, yielded a U?Pb zircon protolith age of ca. 190 Ma and a high-grade metamorphic-anatectic age of 74.0 ± 3.5 Ma associated with ophiolite emplacement. The Tsiknias Ophiolite was therefore obducted ~90 Myrs after it formed during initiation of a NE-dipping intra-oceanic subduction zone to the northeast of the Cyclades that coincides with Africa's plate motion changing from transcurrent to convergent. Continued subduction resulted in high-pressure metamorphism of the Cycladic continental margin ~25 Myrs later.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2019TC005677
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2020


  • Tsiknias Ophiolite
  • Metamorphic sole
  • Subduction initiation
  • THERMOCALC Phase Diagram Modelling
  • U–Pb geochronology
  • Ophiolite obduction


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