Abstract

A series of granite plutons with minor gabbro–diorite phases outcrops immediately north of the Cobequid Fault in the western Cobequid Highlands, Nova Scotia. The plutons were cut by numerous dykes, and parts of some plutons and some dykes subsequently underwent ductile deformation. Four Rb–Sr whole-rock–K-feldspar isochron dates ranging from 338 to 356 Ma have been obtained from these plutons and the dykes that cut them. The ages of these plutons are indistinguishable from an age of 341 Ma obtained for the nearby Fountain Lake Group volcanic rocks, within estimated uncertainties. Measured Carboniferous granite ages are uncommon in the Appalachian Orogen of eastern Canada. The geochemical character of these plutons indicates that they result from crustal extension. This extension and the compression observed in the granites with ductile deformation are related to transcurrent motion between the Avalon and Meguma terranes along the Minas fault zone.Preliminary Rb–Sr whole-rock data from poorly exposed plutons in the northern part of the Cobequid Highlands suggest a Middle to Late Devonian or older age. These plutons may represent an earlier phase of crustal extension.

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