Crustal geodynamic and geophysical constraints
Published:January 01, 2008
The Abitibi-Opatica terrane is defined to include the Abitibi granite-greenstone Subprovince and the Opatica granite-gneiss domain in southeastern Superior Province, Canada. We combine the geological, structural, geochronological, and geochemical knowledge base for the region, with new geochemical data for suites of granitic rocks, in order to establish a testable model for the geodynamic setting and the tectonomagmatic evolution of the Late Archean crust. The geochemistry of TTG orthogneiss and plutons are correlated, petrogenetically and temporally, with the published data and interpretations for the volcanic stratigraphy. The geochemistry of later granodiorite plutons is correlated with the crustal melting signatures of the youngest volcanic assemblage. Putting the geochemical data and interpretations into a framework with data on crustal structure, crustal thickness, and geochronology allows us to define the precollisional tectonomagmatic history of the Abitibi-Opatica terrane. A geodynamic-tectonic model is proposed, involving subduction of an ocean basin beneath an existing, magmatically active and partially differentiated oceanic plateau. The geochemical signature of “plume-arc interaction” is attributed to subduction that was initiated under the magmatically active oceanic plateau, in the presence of a still-active plume. The proposed plate tectonic model explains the presence of plume-type and subduction-type signatures in the volcanic stratigraphy, and in the TTG gneiss and plutons, and requires a single period of plate convergence and subduction that lasted for ~35 million years, ending in a tectonic collision event, ca. 2700 Ma. We propose that the interstratification of plume-type and subduction-type lavas, and the concomitant emplacement of TTG plutons with slab-melting characteristics, might be explained by the formation of a slab window in the subplateau subduction zone.