Abstract

The Archean Michipicoten greenstone belt of the Superior Province in Ontario is made up of supracrustal rocks divided into lower, middle, and upper metavolcanic rocks with associated metasedimentary rocks. The belt has been intruded by granitic rocks and is also surrounded by granitic terranes. Based on U–Pb zircon geochronology it appears that volcanism in the area extended from at least 2749 to 2696 Ma, and plutonism and tectonic activity extended from at least 2888 to 2615 Ma. The various granitic (and also one gabbroic) plutons, both internal and external to the greenstone belt, were emplaced concomitantly with the three volcanic cycles as well as before and after the formation of the volcanic rocks. Zircon ages reported here, together with previously published ages, show that the area evolved in six major volcanic and plutonic events: (I) 2888 Ma—plutonism, (II) 2743 Ma—volcanism and plutonism, (III) 2717 Ma—volcanism and plutonism, (IV) 2696 Ma—volcanism and plutonism, (V) 2668 Ma—plutonism, and (VI) 2615 Ma—plutonism. The oldest rock dated at 2888 ± 2 Ma belongs to the external granitic terrane and may be basement to the supracrustal rocks.

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