Abstract

The Topsails igneous suite contains several Late Ordovician to Early Silurian volcanic and intrusive sequences, which overlie and intrude Early to Middle Ordovician oceanic and arc rocks. The oldest components of this suite may represent calc-alkaline, continental-arc magmatism. The younger components are bimodal, with felsic compositions vastly predominating, and include a major (> 2200 km2) alkaline (A-type) granite complex. These felsic components have similarities to peralkaline suites formed in unusual subduction-related settings. Younger mafic components resemble within-plate basalts emplaced in a continental setting.Silurian magmatic activity in the Canadian Appalachians is widespread, includes diverse magmatic types, and has contrasting metamorphic and tectonic overprinting, even in contiguous areas. These features and the probability of major post-Silurian displacements in the orogen render correlation and interpretation difficult. Tectonic models that consider basin closure and major plate movements to be complete by Middle Ordovician time fail to adequately explain the Silurian activity. Available data best fit a model that relates Late Ordovician to Silurian magmatic activity to the opening and closing of small, discontinuous basins, portions of which may have been floored by oceanic crust.

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