Abstract

The Mings Bight Ophiolite Complex, of probable early Ordovician age, is disposed in four major thrust sheets with an eastward vergence at the northern end of the Baie Verte Lineament. This narrow ophiolitic belt, and (to the south) an adjacent zone of early Devonian volcanic rocks and sediments, were affected by a strong Acadian (Middle Devonian?) deformation between more resistant blocks consisting mainly of rocks that were deformed and regionally metamorphosed, prior to the development of the ophiolites and overlying mafic sediments and volcanic rocks, probably in Late Cambrian to earliest Ordovician. The ophiolite sequence and conformably overlying sedimentary and volcanic sequence define an overturned synclinal structure with an eastward vergence; the three western thrust sheets contain an inverted sequence, the eastern sheet is upright. The thick mafic volcaniclastic and pillow lava sequence overlying the ophiolite complex suggests that the ophiolite complex was generated as the the floor of a small rear-arc or intra-arc basin. The ophiolite complex, although dissected by faults, consists of an ordered sequence from non-cumulate tectonite harzburgite through cumulate ultramafic rocks, gabbro and sheeted dike complex to pillow lavas. The continuous, coastal exposures show the relationships between the lithologies of the ophiolite complex unusually clearly, and these are described in some detail. In particular, the relationships between the sheeted dikes and both the homogeneous upper gabbro and the pillow lavas, and the intrusive complexities and the high-temperature deformation in the layered gabbros and ultramafics, are very clearly displayed. An ocean floor fault containing diapiric serpentinite is preserved in one thrust sheet. Two new formations are proposed, for the mafic volcaniclastic sediments (Big Head Formation) and for the overlying pillow lavas (Barry–Cunningham Formation) above the ophiolite complex.

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