Abstract

Petrofabric analysis of oriented ultramafic and mafic rock samples from six traverses representing all four massifs of the Bay of Islands ophiolite complex, Newfoundland, indicate that the ultramafic rocks are tectonites displaying fabrics consistent with high-temperature plastic flow on the olivine (010) [100] and (0kl) [100] slip systems. The fabric orientation is uniform in three of the four massifs but varies between massifs, suggesting differential rotation before or during emplacement. Within North Arm Mountain, the olivine a axes are aligned approximately perpendicular to the sheeted dikes in both the ultramafic tectonites and the overlying gabbroic tectonites. In Blow Me Down Mountain, the olivine a axes in the gabbros are perpendicular to the dikes, but they are parallel to them in the ultramafic rocks. It is concluded that the ultramafic rocks on Blow Me Down Mountain were rotated 90° during emplacement or that local decoupling and rotation occurred between the crust and upper mantle prior to emplacement. Within the Lewis Hills, the olivine fabrics rotate and weaken near the shear zone in the center of the massif. A second deformation, perhaps associated with low-temperature plastic flow, appears to have obliterated the fabric patterns still observed in the ultramafic rocks to the east.

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