Abstract

Felsites from the Roberts Arm Group have yielded a Rb–Sr isochron age of 447 ± 7 Ma, with an initial 87Sr/86Sr of 0.7063, and a genetically related granite pluton has yielded an isochron age of 464 ± 13 Ma, with an initial ratio of 0.7064. The Mansfield Cove oceanic plagiogranite complex, which is in fault contact with the Roberts Arm Group, has yielded a minimum zircon 207Pb/206Pb age of 594 ± 10 Ma. This plagiogranite, and basaltic rocks of the Hall Hill complex which partly surround it, thus provide a basement of suitable age upon which the Roberts Arm Group may have been deposited. The age of this basement corresponds to that of the opening of the lapetus Ocean.The stratigraphic age of the Roberts Arm Group, indicated by these ages, is Middle or possibly Late Ordovician. The volcanics were deposited either before or slightly after the Caradocian black shales of the Notre Dame Bay region. In the former case, Ordovician volcanism around western Notre Dame Bay ceased at about the time of obduction of the allochthons of western Newfoundland. In the latter, volcanism of the Roberts Arm Group marks a north to westward shift of volcanism within the central mobile belt of Newfoundland that occurred in late Middle or early Late Ordovician time. If the Buchans Group is of Silurian age and correlative with the Roberts Arm Group then this lithostratigraphic unit is probably diachronous, younging to the south.

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