Abstract

The Carmanville ophiolitic mélange of northeastern Newfoundland forms an olistostrome within a thick succession of Middle to Upper Ordovician flyschoid shale, siltstone, and grey-wacke. The olistostrome consists of sedimentary, volcanic, and ultramafic olistoliths ranging in size from granules to several kilometres. The matrix appears to have been derived entirely by disaggregation and disintegration of hydroplastic and thixotropic sediments. The matrix was sufficiently fluid for turbulent motion to occur in the lower parts of the olistostrome, yet viscous enough to produce alignment of fragments and a pervasive cleavage, as well as drag folds in the surrounding hydroplastic sediments. The olistoliths have been drawn from a stratigraphic column hundreds, if not thousands, of metres thick, and an area many kilometres across. A small proportion of the olistoliths were deformed and metamorphosed prior to incorporation in the olistostrome.The Carmanville ophiolitic mélange is tentatively correlated with the Dunnage mélange to define the northern margin of a sheet of ocean floor and island arc obducted toward the southeast onto an accreting continental rise in Llanvirnian–Llandeilian time. Olistostrome formation within this unstable pile commenced in post-Arenigian time, and may have continued intermittently until Llandoverian time. The olistostrome and surrounding rocks were further deformed, metamorphosed, and intruded by granitoid plutons during Silurian and Devonian time.

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