Abstract

On the basis of their remanence properties, the lithologies of the Late Archean (2710–2703 Ma) Ghost Range Complex, an east–west-trending layered mafic–ultramafic extrusive sequence in the central Abitibi Greenstone Belt, can be divided into three groups. Group 1 units contain a high-coercivity, high-blocking temperature (greater than 520 °C) magnetite-dominated remanence characteristic of the complex (D = 280°, I = 2°, k = 5.5, α95 = 11.8°, virtual geomagnetic pole = 13°E, 7°S; isolated by both AF and thermal methods), in good agreement with the few previous results bearing on the Late Archean apparent polar wander path for North America. Group 2 units contain a low-coercivity, low-blocking-temperature (less than 310°C) scattered remanence residing in pyrrhotite. Often, both remanences coexist in a single lithology at a given site. Group 3 units contain distributed coercivity and blocking-temperature remanences, again residing in magnetite, that are more scattered but statistically identical to the mean group 1 direction. The order of magnetic blocking appears to have been group 1 before group 3 before group 2. The geologic setting of the Ghost Range suggests that it has remained essentially stable since emplacement and therefore the group 1 direction appears to reliably represent a Late Archean paleomagnetic pole.

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