(NAO) Ophiolite Suite -- Northern Apennines, Italy


(NAO) Ophiolite Suite -- Northern Apennines, Italy


NAO-01 to NAO-22


The suite consists of samples from an ophiolite suite that outcrops in 3 locations in the Apennine mountain range in northern Italy.  The units are severely imbricated and folded.  The units are Cretaceous-Eocene in age.  The units consist of ultramafic rock, gabbro and peridotite instrusions, and basaltic magmas.




Western Minerals, Inc.

Spatial Coverage

Northern Apennines, Liguria Region, Italy
Samples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 15 are taken from the region around Bargone, Italy
Samples 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 are taken from the region around Sassello, Italy
Sample 22 is taken from outside Genoa, Italy

Temporal Coverage

Triassic - Eocene

Accrual Method

Purchased by Western Minerals, Inc.


Start Here:
Lagabrielle, Y., and Cannat, M., 1990, Alpine Jurassic ophiolites resemble the modern central Atlantic basement: Geology, v. 18, p. 319-322
Link: GeoScienceWorld
  • This fairly short article gives some insight into the development of the North Apennine Ophiolites with a fairly recent view on the matter.

Additional Resources
Garuti, G., and Zaccarini, F., 2005, Minerals of Au, Ag and U in Volcanic-Rock-Associated Massive Sulfide Deposits of the Northern Apennine Ophiolite, Italy: The Canadian Mineralogist, v. 43, p. 935-950
DOI: 10.2113/gscanmin.43.3.935
  • This article explores the elemental composition of the North Apennine Ophiolite sequence and uses that to determine previous geologic events.
Garuti, G., Zaccarini, F., Scacchetti, M., and Bartoli, O., 2011, The Pb-rich sulfide veins in the Boccassuolo ophiolite: Implications for the geochemical evolution of the hydrothermal activity across the ocean-continent transition in the Ligurian Tethys (Northern-Apennine, Italy): Lithos, v. 124, p. 243-254
DOI: 10.1016/j.lithos.2010.11.006
  • This article explores the chemical composition of the ophiolite sequence under a different name and ties it into the formation history.
Garzanti, E., Canclini, S., Foggia, F.M., and Petrella, N., 2002, Unraveling Magmatic and Orogenic Provenance in Modern Sand: The Back-Arc Side of the Apennine Thrust Belt, Italy: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 72, p. 2-17
DOI: 10.1306/051801720002
  • This article goes into great detail on the provenance characteristics for a number of sands. including sands originating from the North Apennine Ophiolite sequence.
Cibin, U., Spadafora, E., Zuffa, G.G., and Castellarin, A., 2001, Continental collision history from arenites of episutural basins in the Northern Apennines, Italy: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 113, p. 4-19
Link: GeoScienceWorld
  • This article goes into detail about the deformations experienced by the North Apennine Ophiolites after the Eocene.

Collection Items

OCR PDF of supplemental information for the Northern Apennines Ophiolites collection.

Relics of augitic clinopyroxene, albite, actinolite, chlorite, clinozoisite, and sphene. Relics of the clinopyroxene of the original dolerite are in part substituted by chlorite and actinolite in a granoblastic and metablastic matrix of albite,…

Ecologitic Rhodingite
Grossular-andradite garnet, diopside, chlorite, sodic pyroxene, vesuvianite, titansphene, opaques. Traces of primitive gabbroid structure with diablastic development of the newlyformed phases and pseudomorphs of sodic pyroxene on primary pyroxenes.…

Antigoritic Serpentine Schist
Antigorite, magnetite, ankeritic carbonate, diopside, tremolite. A very marked subsequent foliation nearly completely obliterates a previous initial foliation.

Antigoritic Serpentine
Antigorite, magnetite, carbonates (ankerite), diopside, clinohumite, tremolite, chlorite. Rarely, pseudomorphs on primary pyroxenes may be recognized, though there is superimposition of various deformational phases.

Gabbro with hydrothermal "oceanic" processes and prehnite-pumpellyite metamorphic overprint.
Plagioclase, clinopyroxene, olivine, ilmenite. metamorphic paragenesis: albite, sericite, chlorite, hematite, sphene, carbonates. Well-preserved relics of…

Na-clinopyroxene (chloromelanite), almandine garnet, rutile, glaucophanic amphibole, harrisitic hornblende, epidote, ablite, chlorIte. Chloromelanite pseudomorphs on primary pyroxenes and chloromelanitic aggregates in plagioclase; granoblastic…

Doleritic basalt with metamorphic overimprinting in prehnite-pumpellyite facies.
Primary minerals: plagioclase, titanaugite, ilmenite, olivine.
Metamorphic paragenesis: albite, pumpellyite, prehnite, sphene, chlorite.

Serpentine (lizardite) with some structural deformation present.

Basaltic Hyaloclastite
Hyaloclastite of basalt with superimposed metamorphism in pumpellyite-prehnite facies.

Cumulitic Peridotite
Serpentinized peridotite with plagioclase, olivine, plagioclase, clino-pyroxene, chromite. Secondary minerals include hydrogrossuaria as well as serpentine, chlorite, prehnite.

Cumulitic Peridotite
Peridotite, serpentinized, with plagioclase with harrisitic structure.

Porphyritic Basalt
Basalt dike in gabbro with prehnite-pumpellyite overprint.

Rhodingitized gabbro dike in serpentinite. Chlorite, hydrogrossularia, diopside, prehnite, pumpellyite, vesuviane.

Tectonic-sedimentary breccia of serpentinite modified by hydrothermal events in oceanic environment.

Occhiadine Metagabbro
Dioritic gabbro with deformational oceanic metamorphism of amphibolitic to greenschist facies and overprinting of prehnite-pumpellite.
Primary phases: plagioclase, clinopyroxene, olivine, ilmenite. Oceanic metamorphic paragenesis: plagioclase,…

Traces of oceanic metamorphism in greenschist-amphibolitic facies and weak overprint in prehnite-pumpellyite facies.
Metamorphic oceanic paragenesis: dark hornblende, actinolite, chlorite, oligoclase-albite in microfractures or reaction rims on…

Serpentinized lherzolite
Partially serpentinized tectonic lherzolite. Occasionally newly formed diopside may be noted.

Pillow Basalt
Spilitized pillow basalt with overprinted prehnite-pumpellyite facies metamorphism. Arborescent ophitic to spherulitic texture; ablitized and saussuritized plagioclase, chloritized glass matrix, with occasional epidote.

Olivine Gabbro
Partially serpentinized Olivine Gabbro.
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