Abstract

Ophiolitic mélange consists of a chaotic mixture of sedimentary rocks and igneous rocks derived from the ophiolite suite of rock units. Its formation involves surficial mass wastage, gravity sliding, and tectonism at consuming plate boundaries. Most worldwide examples relate to ophiolite obduction and the destruction of stable continental margins.The Fleur de Lys Supergroup of the northern Appalachians consists of polydeformed and metamorphosed, mainly clastic sedimentary rocks that accumulated at the Hadrynian to early Paleozoic stable continental margin of eastern North America. Greenschists at or near the top of the succession in the east (Birchy Complex) contain zones of typical ophiolitic mélange. These contain large blocks of serpentinized ultramafic rocks, actinolite–fuchsite alterations of smaller ultramafic blocks, altered gabbro, a variety of clastic sedimentary blocks, and marble. All of the rocks are multideformed and metamorphosed so that the mélange was subjected to the full range of Fleur de Lys deformations.The presence of polydeformed and metamorphosed ophiolitic mélange in the Fleur de Lys Supergroup implies an early disruption or imbrication of its rock units. This disruption and mélange formation are interpreted to be related to transport of ophiolite complexes such as the Bay of Islands Complex across an initially undisturbed continental rise prism, the Fleur de Lys Supergroup. Later polyphase deformation and metamorphism of the Fleur de Lys Supergroup are possible results of continued structural submergence and telescoping of the continental margin beneath a thick cover of transported ophiolite rock units.

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