A detailed geochemical study of Middle Ordovician volcanic rocks, undertaken in the northern Miramichi Highlands of New Brunswick, shows that 10 basaltic suites can be distinguished. These suites are assigned to the Tetagouche and Fournier groups. The contact between these two groups is a major thrust zone, marked for over 70 km by a prominent blueschist zone. All the Tetagouche Group volcanic rocks have chemistries consistent with extrusion in a continental rift, but most Fournier Group basalts in the Miramichi Highlands have chemistries suggestive of an oceanic back-arc setting. The chemical signatures, stratigraphic variations, and structural data indicate that the northern Miramichi Highlands preserve a section across a telescoped Middle Ordovician back-arc basin that initially opened as a result of asthenospheric injection near the rear part of a Lower Ordovician ensialic arc.

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