Abstract

Published U–Pb geochronological, geological, and petrochemical data suggest that there are late Archean ensialic greenstone belts (GB) (Michipicoten GB and possibly the northern Abitibi GB), ensimatic greenstone belts (southern Abitibi GB and Batchawana GB), and possibly a transitional ensimatic–ensialic greenstone belt (Swayze GB) in the central Superior Province. This lateral crustal variability may preclude simple correlation of the Michipicoten GB and its substrata, as exposed in the Kapuskasing Uplift, with that of the southern Abitibi GB. Furthermore, this lateral variability may have determined the locus of the Kapuskasing Uplift. Therefore, although the Kapuskasing Uplift provides a useful general crustal model, alternative models of crustal structure and tectonics for the southern Abitibi GB warrant examination.Thrusting of a juvenile, ensimatic southern Abitibi GB over a terrane containing evolved crust is consistent with (i) the structural style of the southern Abitibi GB; (ii) juvenile southern Abitibi GB metavolcanic rocks intruded by rocks having an isotopically evolved, older component; and (iii) Proterozoic extension that preserved low-grade metavolcanic rocks within the down-dropped Cobalt Embayment, which is bounded by higher grade terranes to the east and west.

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