Abstract

Two Rb–Sr isochrons from the oldest (Wilson Island Group) and one of the youngest (Pearson Formation) Proterozoic volcanic units in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake give dates and initial ratios of 1810 ± 19 Ma, 0.7051 ± 0.0008, and 1809 ± 30 Ma, 0.7089 ± 0.0004, respectively. These dates restrict the Great Slave Supergroup entirely to the Aphebian. The Pearson Formation date is interpreted as magmatic, but it is considered to be rapidly followed by a significant metamorphic and tectonic event within the area. Both the above suites and the volcanic formations of intermediate age have undergone metamorphism up to and including epidote–amphibolite facies. A study of remnant clinopyroxene grains from these formations has indicated general increases in δ18O of whole rocks during epidote–actinolite facies metamorphism of 0.4–2.0‰. The tholeiitic volcanic rocks and intrusions all indicated δ18O values typical of modern continental tholeiites (5.9–7.0‰). The highest δ18O came from those suites that were suspected of having been contaminated by crustal material. The estimated initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios of the magmas, both from clinopyroxene separates and isochrons, indicate a mantle origin for early tholeiitic mid-Aphebian diabase (0.7016–0.7017), Union Island Group diabase (0.7021–0.7030), and Sosan Group alkali volcanics (0.7017). The later Jackson gabbro (0.7050–0.7054) and especially the Pearson Formation tholeiitic basalt (0.7089) both show the effects of significant crustal contamination. The evidence for the Wilson Island Group is less decisive but appears to indicate a mantle origin.

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