Abstract

North- to northwest-directed crustal shortening across the western Quetico subprovince and its boundary regions produced a complex deformation sequence within the Quetico belt and resulted in concentrated zones of dextral ductile shear in the boundary regions within the adjacent greenstone–granite terranes. In this paper, we review and introduce new data on the regional deformation features and their geometries and discuss the history of generation of these features. We attribute the deformation sequence to differential partitioning of shortening and shear strains during dextral transpression associated with oblique convergence and accretion along the southern margin of the Superior Province.The turbiditic wacke in the western Quetico subprovince, now typically amphibolite-facies schist and migmatite, underwent an early deformation stage that included recumbent folding (F1) and the generation of an S1 bedding-parallel foliation. This event is most evident along the northern and southern boundaries of the subprovince, but it is also recognized in the lower grade metasedimentary rocks in the adjacent Wawa and Wabigoon subprovinces. In these subprovinces, F1 folding may have been associated with higher level thrusting and allochthonous emplacement of greenstone units. Despite our F1 designation of this event, it it unlikely that this deformation was synchronous across the subprovinces.Widespread upright folding of the overturned limbs of F1 folds produced moderately to gently plunging F2 folds with east–west-trending axial planes. F, folds, with an associated L, stretching lineation subparallel to fold hinges, are well developed along the southern and northern margins of the Quetico subprovince and in the metasediments of the adjacent Wawa subprovince. During this event, ductile dextral shear was concentrated in steeply dipping east–west-trending shear zones in the Wawa subprovince and in the region of the Rainy Lake – Seine River fault along the Quetico–Wabigoon subprovince boundary. In the northern Wawa subprovince, shear was strongly concentrated in relatively incompetent, steeply dipping metasedimentary and tuffaceous units interlayered with more competent greenstone units. Concentrated zones of ductile shear are not evident within the Quetico subprovince away from its boundary regions. However, emplacement of syntectonic plutons in the central Quetico reoriented F2 folds which were then refolded by large regional F3 folds during continued regional shortening.

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