Rem: Revista Escola de Minas
Print version ISSN 0370-4467
QUEIROGA, Gláucia Nascimento et al. Synthesis about ophiolites: evolution of concepts. Rem: Rev. Esc. Minas [online]. 2012, vol.65, n.1, pp.47-58. ISSN 0370-4467. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0370-44672012000100007.
Ophiolites are fragments of the ancient oceanic lithosphere formed at constructive plate margins or transforming divergent plates. Through extensive thrust faults, these bodies or part of them are emplaced into the continental crust, inside rock piles of orogenic belts, in solid state, but these bodies can be relatively warm. The possible environments which produce oceanic lithosphere include meso-oceanic ranges, basins related to juvenile island arcs and retro-arc basins. Ophiolites of the Phanerozoic age are abundant in orogenic belts around the world whilst Precambrian oceanic remnants are less common and are distributed mainly in Finland, Canada, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Russia, Brazil and China. Several registers of Precambrian oceanic remnants of different ages were recognized in Brazil. Most of these bodies are situated in Brazilian orogenic belts and they register the consumption of the Neoproterozoic oceans. This paper aims to synthetize the main information about ophiolitic sequences, bringing a brief review of concepts and classifications along the 200-year use of this term.
Keywords : Ophiolites; definition; classification; Brazilian and world examples.