The Nagssugtoqidian belt in West Greenland is formed mainly of Archaean rocks which were strongly reworked during the early Proterozoic. Investigation of the southern boundary region has resulted in a model for the tectonic reworking based on the geometry of homogeneous simple shear deformation. Two differently oriented swarms of mainly pre-kinematic dikes are used as strain indicators at the deformation boundary. Gneiss tectonite fabrics have been used to determine that the shear plane dips northwest at 20–40° and that the shear direction along this plane is towards the southeast. The average amount of simple shear strain (S = 6) has been determined from the degree of dike reorientation. This mechanism has resulted in a ductile overthrusting of the reworked rocks over the Archaean foreland, giving a crustal shortening of ca. 66%. The area investigated represents a deep tectonic level. At higher levels ductile deformation would be expected to give way to thrust and fold nappe development. The displacements demonstrated are those which might be expected in the deformed margins of colliding continental plates.

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