Abstract

This paper presents new land and underwater gravity data for the southern portion of the Avalon Terrane of Newfoundland. These gravity data are combined with existing airborne and marine magnetic data to produce a detailed geophysical interpretation of the geology of the southern Avalon Peninsula and the adjacent portions of Placentia and St. Mary's bays.Qualitative interpretation of the geophysical data in conjunction with the known geology reveals that the major faults previously mapped only on land and inferred beneath St. Mary's Bay can be traced offshore geophysically. In addition, the previously unknown offshore limits of a small sedimentary basin in the southeast part of the area can be delineated.Quantitative modelling demonstrates that (1) Precambrian mafic to ultramafic rocks underlie the whole area, (2) thrust faulting in the St. Mary's Peninsula and elsewhere has led to the juxtaposition of Bull Arm volcanic rocks over Harbour Main volcanic rocks, and (3) the evolution of the area may be explained by a combination of earlier volcanic island and extensional models.The mapping has also revealed the presence of previously unknown northwest–southeast lineations in the geophysical patterns, which may be related to the late wrench faulting.

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