Sheeted dikes of the Troodos Ophiolite

Sheeted dike complex is a swarm of subparallel tabular igneous intrusions (dikes). Sheeted dikes form a significant part of the oceanic crust.

They are pathways through which molten basaltic magma rose from the mantle to the seafloor where it solidified as a pillow lava. Some of the magma did not reach to the surface and solidified as dikes. Dikes in sheeted dikes complex are so closely spaced that there is nothing else than just one dike next to another.

These dikes cut each other as each one of them represents a narrow sheet of new oceanic crust that had to force its way between older dikes already formed and solidified.

The images below are from Cyprus (the Troodos Ophiolite). These dikes formed roughly 90 Ma and were once part of a floor of the Tethys Ocean.

Sheeted dikes of a variable width.

One dike next to another.

Dikes side on.

The grains (mostly white plagioclase and black pyroxene) are visible to the naked eye. This rock type is diabase (dolerite) which is compositionally equal to basalt but has coarser texture.

Dike with a chilled margin (darker black) is younger and was intruded into the dike to its right.

More chilled basaltic margins in contact with a diabase dike.

Here are the coordinates of the outcrop: 34.95348 N, 32.99915 E.

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