Abstract

Granitoid rocks in the Slave Province consist of 4.0–2.8 Ga granitoid gneisses that predate the 2.71–2.65 Ga volcanic and turbiditic rocks of the Yellowknife Supergroup and 2.70–2.58 Ga granitoid plutons that intrude the Yellowknife Supergroup. U–Pb zircon ages and Nd and Pb isotopic data indicate that the older granitoids are restricted to the western part of the Slave Province. Granitoid gneisses in the eastern Slave Province, previously suspected to predate the Yellowknife Supergroup, are similar in age to the volcanic rocks.In this paper, the results of a detailed geochronological study of plutonic rocks of the Contwoyto Lake – Nose Lake area of the northcentral Slave Province are reviewed and integrated with the available age data base for plutonic rocks elsewhere in the Slave Province. The data indicate that the timing of the later (<2.7 Ga) plutonism is bimodal, consisting of two distinct magmatic periods separated by approximately 20 Ma of apparent magmatic quiescence. The first period was synvolcanic, dating from 2695 to 2650 Ma. The second period, during which more than 80% of the granitoids presently exposed in the Slave Province were intruded, lasted from 2625 to 2580 Ma, spanning the major Archean deformation events, Syndeformation granitoids, with ages between 2625 and 2595 Ma, are dominantly diorite and tonalité in composition. Late- to post-deformation granitoid rocks, with ages between 2605 and 2580 Ma, range in composition from megacrystic biotite granodiorite to two-mica granite. In general terms, the compositions of the granitoid plutons vary in time from dominantly metaluminous to more strongly peraluminous.Present data show no obvious regional age variation among the younger granitoid rocks across the province. This apparent absence of diachroneity has important implications for models interpreting the magmatism as having evolved in a continental-margin setting, because the extent of contemporaneous plutonism is more than 400 km across strike, considerably broader than in most Mesozoic continental-margin batholiths.

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