Abstract

The Liscomb Complex (area ca. 240 km2), located in the Meguma Lithotectonic Zone of the Canadian Appalachians, consists of three main lithological components: high-grade gneisses, mafic plutons, and peraluminous granitoid bodies. Field relations and 40Ar/39Ar dating (369–377 Ma) embracing all three lithological groups show that the complex is post-Acadian. The gneisses occur as a domal uplift and represent a mixed volcano-sedimentary package that is structurally, metamorphically, and chemically distinct from the surrounding low-grade metawackes and metapelites of the Meguma Group. The mafic intrusions (quartz gabbro to quartz diorite) have major and trace element compositions (e.g., Ti–Zr–Y, Nb–Zr–Y, Th/Yb – Ta/Yb, rare earth elements) typical of within-plate or volcanic arc materials. The peraluminous granitoid rocks range from two-mica granodiorites to leucomonzogranites, and are mineralogically and chemically very similar to granitic rocks elsewhere in the Meguma Zone. Neodymium and strontium isotopic analyses show that (i) the gneisses have a wide range of εNd and initial Sr isotopic ratios, with Nd model ages that are generally younger than those of the Meguma Group; (ii) the mafic intrusive rocks represent magmas derived from slightly depleted mantle sources (εNd +3.3 to +1.4), in part modified by crustal contamination (εNd +0.5 to −5.0); and (iii) the granitoid rocks isotopically overlap both the South Mountain Batholith and the intermediate gneisses of the Liscomb Complex. The combined field, petrological, and chemical evidence suggests that underplating by mafic magmas, followed by thermal doming of the gneisses, diapirism through the Meguma Group, anatexis, and multiple intrusion of both mafic and felsic magmas best explain the observed relationships in the Liscomb Complex. This mechanical model may also apply to granite generation throughout the Meguma Zone.

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