The Palaeoproterozoic Trans-Hudson Orogen: a prototype of modern accretionary processes
D. Corrigan, S. Pehrsson, N. Wodicka, E. De Kemp, 2009. "The Palaeoproterozoic Trans-Hudson Orogen: a prototype of modern accretionary processes", Ancient Orogens and Modern Analogues, J. B. Murphy, J. D. Keppie, A. J. Hynes
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The Trans-Hudson Orogen (THO) of North America is one of the earliest orogens in Earth's history that evolved through a complete Wilson Cycle. It represents c. 150 Ma of opening of the Manikewan Ocean, from c. 2.07–1.92 Ga, followed by its demise in the interval 1.92–1.80 Ga, during the final phase of growth of the Supercontinent Columbia (Nuna). It is characterized by three lithotectonic divisions: (i) Churchill margin (or peri-Churchill); (ii) Reindeer Zone; and (iii) Superior margin (or peri-Superior). The peri-Churchill realm records progressive outward continental growth by accretion of Archaean to Palaeoproterozoic micro-continents (Hearne, Meta Incognita/Core Zone, Sugluk) and eventually arc terranes (La Ronge–Lynn Lake) to the Slave-Rae nuclei, with attendant development of orogenies and basin inversions related to the specific accretion events (1.92–1.89 Ga Snowbird; 1.88–1.865 Ga Foxe; 1.87–1.865 Ga Reindeer orogenies). The Reindeer Zone is characterized by primitive to evolved oceanic arcs, back-arc basins, oceanic crust and ocean plateaus that formed during closure of the Manikewan Ocean, and accretion of a micro-continent (Sask Craton) and smaller Archaean crustal fragments. The terminal phase of the Trans–Hudson orogeny represents collision between the Superior craton, the Reindeer Zone and the composite western Churchill Province during the interval 1.83–1.80 Ga.
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Plate tectonics provide a unifying conceptual framework for the understanding of Phanerozoic orogens. More controversially, recent syntheses apply these principles as far back as the Early Archaean. Many ancient orogens are, however, poorly preserved and the processes responsible for them are not well understood. The effects of processes such as delamination, subduction of oceanic and aseismic ridges, overriding of plumes and subduction erosion are rarely identified in ancient orogens, although they have a profound effect on Cenozoic orogens. However, deeply eroded ancient orogens provide insights into the hidden roots of modern orogens. Recent advances in analytical techniques, as well as in fields such as geodynamics, have provided fresh insights into ancient orogenic belts, so that realistic modern analogies can now be applied. This Special Publication offers up-to-date reviews and models for some of the most important orogenic belts developed over the past 2.5 billion years of Earth history.