Abstract

Early Aphebian Gowganda sedimentary rocks and intruding Nipissing diabase sills were sampled for paleomagnetic study at 88 sites (~500 cores, ~1000 specimens) along two ~42 km long profiles extending north from the Grenville Front into the Cobalt Plate of the Southern Structural Province in the River Valley – Lake Temagami area of Ontario. After AF demagnetization a postfolding pre-Nipissing ~2200 Ma remanence was found in eight of the 37 Gowganda sediment sites that were > 2 km north of the front, giving a pole at 109°W, 63°N (dp = 10°, dm = 19°). The Nippissing diabase from > 2 km north of the front retains a stable antiparallel prefolding N1 remanence direction in 22 of 40 sites, giving a pole position of 85°W, 17°S (dp = 6°, dm = 10°). These "south and down" remanence directions found in the southern portion of the plate contrast with the antiparallel "north and up" directions found in the northern portion, thereby indicating the occurrence of either two nearly cogenetic Nipissing intrusive events or the sequential emplacement of the Nipissing during an Earth's magnetic field reversal across the plate. At two sites a Nipissing remagnetized remanence was found in Gowganda sediments with a pole of 115°W, 18°S. Also three "Nipissing" sites give a pole at 164°W, 3°N, which is close to the known pole for the later ~1.25 Ga Sudbury olivine diabase dikes. One site is adjacent to a large dike and two were found on thin-section examination to be olivine diabase. The eight sites in Gowganda sediment matrix and conglomerate clasts and in Nipissing diabase from within < 2 km from the front were found to have a postfolding metamorphic remanence with a Grenville orogenic pole at 45°W, 51°N (dp = 19°, dm = 21°). Finally, the results lead to a suggested revision in the APW path for the ~2300–~1650 Ma interval for North America.

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