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ABSTRACT The pelagic sediments of the Semail Ophiolite are depositionally overlain by ophiolite-derived sediments of the Zabyat Formation, dominated by matrix-supported rudites, with subordinate arenites and lutites. The detritus was locally derived from the ophiolite, in a deep marine environment indicated by both underlying and overlying pelagic carbonates. The Zabyat rocks are restricted to fault zones in the ophiolite which were active during emplacement. They are interpreted as debris shed from the sub-vertical fault zones during the initial disruption of the Semail ocean floor, prior to the final emplacement on to the Arabian continental margin. This interpretation places constraints on possible mechanisms of ophiolite emplacement.