Abstract

An investigation of the geology and chemistry of the basic igneous rocks in the Elmtree and Belledune inliers in northern New Brunswick shows that the bulk of the Middle Ordovician rocks of the ophiolitic Fournier Group are best interpreted as the products of volcanism and sedimentation in an extensive ensimatic back-arc basin southeast of a volcanic arc. The oceanic back-arc-basin igneous rocks form the basement to renewed arc-related basaltic volcanism in late Middle to Late Ordovician time. The Fournier Group is separated from the structurally-underlying, shale-dominated Elmtree Formation of the Tetagouche Group by an extensive tectonic melange, which incorporates lenses of serpentinite, mafic volcanic rocks, and sedimentary rocks of both the Tetagouche and Fournier groups. The mafic volcanic rocks in the Elmtree Formation correlate best with those intercalated with the lithologically similar sediments of the Llandeilian–Caradocian Boucher Brook Formation in the northern Miramichi Highlands. The melange and the present structural amalgamation of the Tetagouche and Fournier groups result from closure of the marginal basin by northward-directed subduction at the end of the Ordovician. Most mafic suites in the Elmtree and Belledune inliers can be chemically correlated with similar suites in the northern Miramichi Highlands, showing that the two areas are not separated by a terrane boundary.

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