Crustal-scale Shear Zones Recording 400 m.y. of Tectonic Activity in the North Caribou Greenstone Belt, Western Superior Province of Canada

Title: Crustal-scale Shear Zones Recording 400 m.y. of Tectonic Activity in the North Caribou Greenstone Belt, Western Superior Province of Canada
Authors: Kalbfleisch, Netasha
Date: 2012
Abstract: A series of crustal-scale shear zones demarcates the northern and eastern margins of the North Caribou greenstone belt (NCGB), proximal to a Mesoarchean terrane boundary in the core of the western Superior Province of Canada. The dominant deformation produced a pervasive steeply dipping fabric that trends broadly parallel to the doubly arcuate shape of the belt and was responsible for tight folding the banded iron formation host to Goldcorp’s prolific gold deposit at Musselwhite mine. The shear zones in the North Caribou greenstone belt are of particular interest because of their ability to channel hydrothermal fluids with the potential to bear ore and cause alteration of the middle to shallow crust. Shear zones are commonly reactivated during subsequent tectonism, but exhibit a consistent and dominant dextral shear sense across the belt; fabric-forming micas and chlorite are generally Mg-rich. Although garnets samples from within the shear zones are dominantly almandine, they possess variable geochemical trends (HREEs of >2 orders of magnitude) and can be syn-, intra-, or post-tectonic in origin. In situ geochronological analysis of zircon (U-Pb) and monazite (total-Pb) in high strain rocks in and around the NCGB, interpreted in light of in situ geochemical analysis of garnet and fabric-forming micas and chlorite, reveals four relatively discrete events that span 400 million years. Metamorphism of the mid-crust was coeval with magmatism during docking of the Island Lake domain at c. 2.86 Ga and subsequent terrane accretion at the north and south margins of the North Caribou Superterrane from c. 2.75 to 2.71 Ga. Transpressive shear at c. 2.60 to 2.56 Ga and late re-activation of shear zones at c. 2.44 Ga produced a steeply-dipping pervasive fabric, and channeled fluids for late crystallization of garnet and monazite recorded in the Markop Lake deformation zone. These observations implicate a horizontal tectonic model similar to the modern eastern Pacific plate margin. Further, this study highlights the caution that should be exercised when using traditional rock forming metamorphic minerals (mica, chlorite, garnet) when attempting to vector into zones of hydrothermal alteration within midcrustal rocks.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -