Upper Ordovician to Lower Silurian rocks in the Antigonish Highlands consist of interlayered basalts, rhyodacites, arkoses, and conglomerates overlain by a thick sequence of marine clastic rocks and minor rhyolites. The stratigraphy documents a marine transgression. The volcanic rocks were deposited in a within-plate, continental, extensional environment. The basalts display alkalic and tholeiitic affinities, and the rhyodacites were formed by anatexis of the crust. The origin of the younger rhyolites is not clear: they are compositionally distinct from the rhyodacites but may be related to them as late-stage differentiates. At present, it is not possible to evaluate whether the tectonic setting and magmatic affinities are regionally or locally controlled.The geological history is very similar to that of Lower Silurian rocks immediately north of the Antigonish Highlands at Arisaig. In the simplest sense, this indicates these areas may have been juxtaposed prior to the Late Ordovician and limits cumulative post-Silurian movement on the boundary (Hollow) fault to about 40 km.

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