Abstract

Paleomagnetic analysis of the Mealy diabase dykes of Labrador reveals magnetizations that predate the Grenville event at about 1000 Ma. These dykes intrude the Mealy Mountains anorthositic complex in the Grenville Structural Province. They are well south of the Grenville Front Tectonic Zone, but were apparently never subjected to temperatures as high as 500 °C during their post-consolidation history.Four distinct magnetic components were uncovered by thermal and alternating field treatments and a fifth remained unresolved. The major magnetic mineral present, titanomagnetite, is thought to record two magnetic directions acquired during cooling from magmatic temperatures. These are B (D = 305°, I = −76°; N = 18 sites; κ = 12; α95 = 11°) and A (D = 095°, I = +52°; N = 20 sites; κ = 46; α95 = 5°). Component B has much within-site dispersion. The other two components, C (D = 274°, I = −47°; N = 10 sites; κ = 15; α95 = 13°) and D (D = 292°, I = −74°; κ = 5; α95 = 31°), probably reside in magnetite and pyrrhotite, respectively. Component C, antiparallel to A, was probably acquired at about the same time as A. We suggest that C and A represent the first stable magnetizations retained by the dykes following an extensive period of cooling and re-equilibration of the magnetic minerals. Components B and D, which agree in direction, represent a later stage of cooling.Component B has a pole at 148°E, 34°S (δp = 18°, δm = 19°) in agreement with regional metamorphic poles from the Grenville; A, however, has a pole at 173°W, 23°S (δp = 5°, δm = 7°), which apparently "sees through" the peak in Grenville activity. The A site poles have a linear distribution along the Keweenawan Track and probably relate to an age between 1000 and 1150 Ma.

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