Go BACK to all UAE pics

Semail Opiolite

Even though our meeting was devoted to alluvial fans, and I was there peripherally for big dunes, a major highlight of this trip was getting up close and personal with the world-famous Semail Ophiolite. This nearly complete sequence of lower crust, seafloor basalts, gabbros and subcrustal mantle lithosphere can be seen along the east coast of the UAE and northern Oman. We began at a quarry that exposed chunks of serpentinite from the seafloor crustal section. We continued driving into the mountains, dark grey/black and rugged. These are nearly entirely made of peridotite, basically the mantle and thus very rare in outcrop on land. The road followed a fracture that put the peridotite next to lower crustal schist, bright grey and luminous, contrasting with the adjacent dark hills. I felt like I was in the bowels of the Earth. We had a stop along the way at the Friday market, and I resisted shopping for carpets and brightly died cacti in favor of looking at some eroded deposits at the base of the ophiolites. We'd planned to lunch near some spectacular fans, but these were being actively covered by road construction, so we went down to the beach instead. We wrestled with some local flies and beat them out for a tasty and traditional lunch of whole goat over rice. I was even talked into a little taste of brains.. We also spent some time on an Indian Ocean beach, with carbonate/ophiolite sands. It was a spectacular day.

GPS track of drive on Google Earth:

Download the .kHz file

All pics are below.

P1070783 P1070784 P1070785
P1070786 P1070787 P1070788
P1070789 P1070791 P1070794
P1070795 P1070797 P1070798
P1070800 P1070802 P1070810
P1070812 P1070815 P1070818
P1070821 P1070822 P1070823
P1070824 P1070826 P1070827
P1070828 P1070829 P1070830
P1070831 P1070832 P1070833
P1070834 P1070835 P1070836
P1070837 P1070838 P1070839
P1070840 P1070842 P1070843
P1070844 P1070845 P1070846
P1070847 P1070848 P1070849
P1070850 P1070852 P1070853
P1070854 P1070857 P1070858
P1070859 P1070860 P1070861
P1070862 P1070863 P1070864
P1070866 P1070867 P1070868
P1070869 P1070870 P1070871
P1070872 P1070873 P1070874
P1070875 P1070876 P1070877
P1070879 P1070880 P1070881
P1070882 P1070884 P1070886
P1070887 P1070889 P1070907
Please credit Jani Radebaugh, thank you!