Abstract

The Early Proterozoic Wathaman batholith, in northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, is a 900 km long, megacrystic granite–granodiorite intrusion that straddles the junction between ensialic miogeoclinal and probably ensimatic eugeoclinal–island-arc terranes of the "Trans-Hudson Orogen," of the western Churchill Province. Although the largest Precambrian batholith known, it is, apart from marginal complexities, remarkably homogeneous throughout and, unlike comparably sized and situated Phanerozoic batholiths, shows no evidence of multiple intrusion, nor does it have comagmatic early mafic phases. However, it may be considered as just one phase of a larger batholithic belt that also includes numerous smaller plutons. Taken as a whole the composite batholithic belt is similar in many aspects to Mesozoic Pacific rim batholithic belts, and like them probably was emplaced during plate collision.The batholith is affected by pervasive internal deformation, is bounded on the northwest by major blastomylonite zones, and is transected internally by splaying shear zones. It is a mid- to late-synkinematic Hudsonian intrusion, emplaced within a markedly compressional, crustal regime. On the basis of petrological, geochemical, and isotopic criteria the batholith is an "I-type" intrusion, but the origin of the magma and the emplacement mechanisms are still unresolved problems.

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