Abstract

The Scotia–Quaal metamorphic belt extends from Hawkesbury Island to Work Channel between the early Late Cretaceous Ecstall and the Paleogene Quottoon plutons. The belt consists of a Proterozoic?–Paleozoic metasedimentary and metavolcanic sequence, the Middle Devonian Big Falls orthogneiss, Early Jurassic orthogneiss, and Jurassic or Cretaceous mafic and ultramafic intrusive rocks. The assemblage may be correlative with Nisling terrane lithologies and may have shared a common history, at least from Early Jurassic time on, with rocks of Stikine terrane.Strong planar and linear fabrics, abundant folds, and scarcity of kinematic indicators characterize the belt's deformational style. Development of a strong foliation followed by three episodes of folding occurred between emplacement of the Middle Devonian Big Falls orthogneiss and early Late Cretaceous Ecstall intrusion. Paleogene fabrics occur in the Quottoon pluton and in the easternmost 1.5 km of the Scotia-Quaal belt. If a major Paleogene shear zone is postulated to explain the disparity in cooling dates, metamorphic histories, and structural styles between the western and central Coast Plutonic Complex, then it does not traverse the Scotia–Quaal metamorphic belt, but must be located within or at the western edge of the Quottoon pluton.Medium-pressure, epidote–amphibolite to upper amphibolite facies metamorphic conditions are preserved in the central region. Metamorphic grade increases gradually across the belt from west to east and from south to north. Regional metamorphism outlasted regional deformation. Contact metamorphism associated with Quottoon and Ecstall intrusion is apparent only in rocks of the southern region where regional metamorphic grades are lowest.

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