Abstract

In the Through Hill area of central Newfoundland, mafic to ultramafic complexes, which preserve varying amounts of ophiolite stratigraphy, mark the trace of a major fault zone that outcrops in a roughly elliptical pattern. The major, northeast-trending axis is about 60 km and the shorter axis is about 30 km in length. The most complete ophiolite stratigraphy is preserved in the Coy Pond and Pipestone Pond complexes, which have steep dips and face east and west, respectively, outwards from the centre of the ellipse.The ophiolitic rocks are bounded on the outside by rocks typical of the Dunnage Zone of central Newfoundland, principally Lower to Middle Ordovician volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks interpreted to be of island-arc affinity (Davidsville, Victoria Lake, and Baie d'Espoir groups, Cold Spring Pond Formation) and Upper Ordovician to Silurian clastic sediments (Botwood Group). The volcano-sedimentary sequences are interpreted to have been deposited on the ophiolite conformably, but the contacts are not exposed. Both ophiolite and volcano-sedimentary sequences have similar structural and metamorphic histories, exhibiting one principal deformation and the formation of folds with subhorizontal axes, local development of second-generation folds and associated cleavage, and an intervening period of metamorphism in the greenschist facies.The elliptical area enclosed by the ophiolite belt is referred to as the Mount Cormack Terrane, and is underlain by variably metamorphosed shale, quartz-rich sandstone, quartzo-feldspathic to amphibolitic gneisses, and granite. A limestone occurrence contains shelly fossils of Early to Middle Ordovician age. An early deformation formed folds with steep axes, and subsequent metamorphism resulted in a progression from greenschist facies to upper amphibolite facies, with the production of migmatite and granodiorite.The preferred interpretation of the geology is that the elliptical Mount Cormack Terrane is exposed as a window through an overlying allochthon composed of ophiolitic and volcano-sedimentary rocks of the Dunnage Zone. The emplacement of the allochthon probably postdated deposition of the Silurian Botwood Group. Paleontologic, lithologic, and structural considerations suggest that the sediments of the Mount Cormack Terrane were deposited at the eastern margin of Iapetus and are perhaps correlatives of rocks exposed in the Gander Zone. This implies that the Dunnage Zone has been thrust, probably in an eastwards direction, on a scale comparable with the allochthons mapped in the Scandinavian Caledonides and proposed for the Appalachians of Quebec and the United States.

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