Abstract

Athapuscow aulacogen is an Early Proterozoic intracratonic basin located in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake between the Slave and northwest Churchill provinces. Athapuscow aulacogen comprises three stratigraphic sequences, the Wilson Island Group, the Great Slave Supergroup, and the Et-Then Group. New U–Pb zircon ages provide constraints on the development of the aulacogen.The Blachford Lake Intrusive Suite consists of an older alkaline phase (Hearne Channel Granite) dated at 2175 ± 7 Ma and a younger peralkaline phase (Thor Lake Syenite) dated at 2094 ± 10 Ma, confirming the suggestion that the two phases may not be related. A felsite from the Wilson Island Group has an age of 1928 ± 11 Ma. The Wilson Island Group is intruded by epizonal granites (Butte Island Intrusive Suite), one of which has an age of 1895 ± 8 Ma. The Wilson Island Group and the Butte Island Instrusive Suite are entirely allochthonous with respect to the Slave craton. Rocks of the Great Slave Supergroup overlie mylonitized Wilson Island Group rocks and both were involved in northeast-directed thrusting. The Compton laccoliths intrude rocks of the Great Slave Supergroup, postdate thrusting, and are about 1865 Ma old.The Blachford Lake Intrusive Suite is significantly older than both the rift sequence in Wopmay Orogen (ca. 1900 Ma) and the Wilson Island Group; it probably is genetically unrelated. The age of the Wilson Island Group and Butte Island Intrusive Suite is considerably younger than previous estimates and is close to the minimum age of rifting in Wopmay Orogen. The Compton laccoliths are very similar to intrusive rocks in the Great Bear Magmatic Zone of Wopmay Orogen and may be related to east-dipping subduction beneath the aulacogen.The new ages strengthen the correlations between Athapuscow aulacogen and Wopmay Orogen and suggest a link with events in the Trans-Hudson Orogen to the south.

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