31 Mar '12, 10pm

Earth's Crust Exposed in Oman

The different rock types that comprise the Semail ophiolite sequence are visible in this image. From west to east (left to right), the rocks go from deepest within the earth to rocks that were originally exposed on the ocean floor. At the far left are peridodites that were once part of the Earth’s mantle. The upper part of this sequence was along the boundary with the base of the crust, and is where chromite is now mined. The next layer of rocks (the first in the crust, rather than the mantle) is composed of gabbro. Further east is a layer of sheeted dikes —lavas that were extruded into the crust, but solidified before reaching the surface—topped by basalt pillow lavas (which solidified in deep water).

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=77569&s...

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