Aeromagnetic data collected between eastern Nova Scotia and southern Newfoundland provide new information about the offshore extension of the Avalon and Meguma terranes. A zone of short-wavelength anomalies that delineates Scatarie Ridge extends westward to the Late Proterozoic Fourchu Group in southeastern Cape Breton Island and eastward towards the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland, suggesting that both regions belong to the same tectono-stratigraphic province of the Avalon composite terrane. A different zone of short-wavelength, discontinuously lineated anomalies at the northern edge of the Canso Ridge correlates with amphibolite-facies metamorphic rocks of the Meguma terrane on the Canso Peninsula, interpreted as an exhumed deeper metamorphic level of the Meguma terrane at its boundary with the Avalon terrane. The S-shaped pattern of long linear magnetic trends, characteristic of lower grade Meguma rocks on the southern flank of the Canso Ridge, indicates plastic deformation of the Meguma terrane during the Acadian orogeny when emplaced against the rigid Cape Breton Island block indentor. Analogous patterns occur off western Nova Scotia, suggesting little strike-slip motion occurred between the Meguma and Avalon terranes since the Acadian orogeny.Late Proterozoic rocks on Scatarie Ridge are intruded by Cretaceous diabase dykes. The diabase is alkaline with a within-plate geochemical signature, similar in composition to basalt flows in the Orpheus half-graben. A depleted-mantle model age TDM (Nd) of 731 Ma, εNd = +6.5, suggests that the magma was sourced from a lithospheric mantle reservoir involved in Late Proterozoic magmatic activity. Aeromagnetic data interpretation confirms the distribution of Cretaceous basalt flows and sills within Mesozoic sedimentary strata of the Orpheus half-graben previously outlined by seismic methods but was unable to differentiate between Proterozoic and Mesozoic intrusive rocks where the Proterozoic rocks lay near to the ocean floor.

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