Abstract

The Michipicoten greenstone belt at Wawa, Ontario is typical of Archean volcanic belts in the Superior Province. The supracrustal rocks are divisible into lower, middle, and upper metavolcanic sequences, which are separated by iron formation and clastic metasedimentary rocks. These are intruded by granitic stocks and embayed by granitic batholiths.This study reports whole rock Rb–Sr and zircon U–Pb ages for the lower and upper metavolcanics, for the granitic rocks that are physically within the greenstone belt (internal granites), and for the granitic rocks that embay the greenstone belt (external granites). The apparent Rb–Sr ages for the lower metavolcanics are 2530 ± 90, 2285 ± 70, and 2680 ± 490 Ma. The U–Pb ages are 2749 ± 2 and 2744 ± 10 Ma. The internal granites give an Rb–Sr age of 2560 ± 270 Ma and a U–Pb age of 2737 ± 6 Ma. The external granite at Hawk Lake indicates an Rb–Sr age of 2550 ± 175 Ma and a U–Pb age of 2747 ± 7 Ma. It is possible that this unit contains elements older than 2812 Ma as it contains xenocrystic zircons. The upper volcanics give a U–Pb age of 2696 ± 2 Ma, which indicates that the belt evolved over a time period in excess of 53 Ma. The Rb–Sr ages are significantly younger than the U–Pb zircon ages and have very large uncertainties in age; hence it is unlikely that they have any stratigraphic significance. They probably reflect the Kenoran orogeny at about 2560 Ma. The 2285 ± 70 Ma Rb–Sr isochron age has an initial ratio of 0.7275 ± 0.0052, which is interpreted as a rotational isochron defining a younger post-Kenoran event in the area. The zircon ages appear to be correct chronostratigraphically. Furthermore, it appears that the granitic rocks are coeval and may also be cogenetic with the lower acid metavolcanic rocks.

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