Abstract

The following new U–Pb dates are provided for zircons from volcanic and intrusive rocks of the Avalon Terrane of Newfoundland: Burin Group ophiolite (Wandsworth pegmatitic gabbro), graphic; Marystown Group ash-flow tuff, graphic; Rock Harbour Group rhyolite clast in conglomerate, graphic; Harbour Main Group ash-flow tuff, graphic; Harbour Main Group flow-banded rhyolite, graphic; porphyritic rhyolite plug intruding Harbour Main Group, 632 ± 2 Ma; Holyrood Granite, graphic; rhyolite dyke, Harbour Main Group, graphic; and welded ash-flow tuff, "Grand Beach porphyry," graphic. All of the dated zircons are simple, single-age populations with no trace of inheritance. These dates confirm that the ophiolitic Burin Group represents an older and separate event that correlates precisely with the Bou Azzer ophiolite of Morocco and that the Rock Harbour Group does not represent continental volcanism that preceded that event. The Rock Harbour, Marystown, and Harbour Main groups and the Holyrood Granite (632–608 Ma) are all part of the younger 650–550 Ma pulse of Pan-African orogenesis that affected a broad area extending through Africa, Asia, western Europe, southern England and Wales, and eastern North America. However, a shortage of high-precision dates throughout these terranes precludes very exact correlations and thus very exact interpretations in terms of specific tectonic or magmatic events. Although these dates require some revisions in the stratigraphy of the Newfoundland Avalon Terrane, they do not support suggestions that the Avalon Terrane comprises a "collage of suspect terranes." The age of the Grand Beach porphyry (394 Ma) places it squarely with the Acadian granites of the Appalachians and removes it from consideration as part of the Marystown Group.

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