Abstract

The Otish gabbro sills intrude Aphebian clastic rocks lying uncanformably on the Archean rocks of the Superior Province close to its juncture with the Grenville Province. The sills are undated but by inference may be ca. 1750 Ma. Two dyke swarms are known in the vicinity, the 1950 Ma, northwest-trending Mistassini dykes and a northeast-trending swarm of unknown age extending 600 km from Senneterre to the Otish Mountains and possibly another 300 km to the northeast. The trends of feeder dykes to the Otish sills are physically compatible with the dominant northeast dykes, which are therefore considered to be the feeders and should be called the Otish dykes.The Otish sills appear to be a unique occurrence along the 900 km dyke trend, possibly, but not entirely because of the chances of preservation. The general form of the Otish sill complex is a triangle bounded on the north by the east–west lip of the sedimentary basin, on the southwest by a northwest-trending Otish feeder dyke, and on the southeast by the underlying northeast feeder dykes. These dykes segment the sills into a series of four or five separate intrusive complexes, small in the northwest and becoming larger to the southeast. The regular inclination of tension fractures in the basal chilled margin of the sills suggests a crude pattern of flow from the feeder dykes inward to the centre of the sheets.Interpretation of the sedimentary sequence indicates that the Otish clastics were deposited higher on the paleoslope than the Mistassini carbonates. Although few dykes intrude the deeper basin, the magma rose and formed sills within the higher sequence. This variation may be explained by the different mechanical character of the two types of cover rock controlling the dyke behaviour. The relatively plasto-viscous Mistassini carbonate–shale sequence resisted the formation of tension fractures, whereas the brittle elastics opened easily, allowing the magma to rise into the stratified sequence, forming the sill complexes.

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