Abstract

A long, narrow belt of rocks of very high electrical conductivity has been discovered and mapped by means of large arrays of recording magnetometers, over a distance of 1400 km from southeastern Wyoming to the edge of the Canadian Shield in Saskatchewan. Evidence that the conductive belt might be associated with conductive minerals in metamorphosed and fractured rocks in the basement has been discussed in earlier papers. Recent results on the Precambrian geology at both ends of the conductor, in the Churchill Province of the Shield and in southeastern Wyoming, support the hypothesis that the anomaly in electrical conductivity traces a major fracture zone in the lithosphere of Precambrian North America. This paper presents and relates various lines of evidence which together tend to substantiate such a fracture zone or mobile belt. From the age and composition of rocks near the southern end of the structure, Hills and others suggest that a Proterozoic subduction zone is located there. It is possible that the entire fracture zone from the Southern Rockies to the vicinity of Hudson Bay is a Proterozoic continental collision zone or geosuture.

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