Abstract

The natural remanent magnetization of the upper Keweenawan Nonesuch Shale and Freda Sandstone has been analyzed with thermal, alternating field, and chemical demagnetization techniques. The results of this study are in good agreement with previously published works by DuBois and by Vincenz and Yaskawa, but place a tighter constraint on the North American apparent polar wander path. Fifty-eight samples, representing nearly 900 m of section, have been collected from the flanks of the Porcupine Mountain uplift. From principally thermal demagnetization analyses, a mean direction of primary magnetization has been calculated for the Nonesuch Shale, with declination 279.8°, inclination +9.8°, yielding a virtual geomagnetic pole position at 176.5° E, 10.3° N, and for the Freda Sandstone, with declination 271.3° inclination + 0.7°, yielding a virtual geomagnetic pole at 179.5° E, 1.2° N. A group of intermediate (secondary) components of magnetization is removed between temperatures of 350 °C and 550 °C, yielding well clustered directions. Its mean direction with declination 280.6°, inclination −9.5°, resulted in a virtual geomagnetic pole at 169.2° E, 3.7° N. This secondary magnetization is assumed to be of chemical origin and is most likely associated with the late Precambrian copper mineralization of the Nonesuch Shale. By thorough sampling of the stratigraphic column it is possible to infer the general direction of motion of a plate as the sediments were deposited. The motion of the North American plate as observed in the upper Keweenawan magnetizations is in agreement with the previously published polar wander paths for the late Precambrian.

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