Siluro-Devonian volcanic rocks of the northwestern mainland Appalachians are found mainly in the Tobique belt of New Brunswick where they consist predominantly of bimodal mafic–felsic suites erupted in a continental-rift environment. The axis of the Tobique rift trends north-northeast – south-southwest, obliquely to the regional northeast–southwest trend of the Appalachians. These geometric relationships are interpreted as being the result of rifting in a sinistral shear regime produced during emplacement of the Avalon terrene. The basaltic rocks are continental tholeiites and transitional basalts derived from a heterogeneous upper-mantle source that was enriched in incompatible elements relative to the primordial mantle. The mantle source was probably affected by the subduction processes.