Abstract

The Pridolian Clam Bank Formation around Lourdes Cove on the Port au Port Peninsula, western Newfoundland, underwent deformation during the Acadian orogeny. As a result, some of the beds were overturned, but the stratification planes can be accurately determined everywhere. Paleomagnetic studies of the Clam Bank Formation have yielded three well-defined components of magnetization, all acquired subsequent to the deformation event: component A with D = 337.3°, I = −28.3°, (N = 16 sites, k = 25.3, α95 = 7.5°), with a corresponding paleopole at 23.2°N, 145.0°E (dp, dm = 4.5°, 8.2°); component B with D = 172.9°, I = 5.7° (N = 35 specimens, k = 10.2, α95 = 6.4°), with a corresponding paleopole at 38.2°N, 130.1°E (dp, dm = 3.2°, 6.4°); component C with D = 350.4°, I = 69.8° (N = 33 specimens, k = 8.9, α95 = 8.9°). A pre-Mesozoic origin of the A and B components is indicated by the presence of normal and reversed components in specific sites; by the lack of correspondence between the A and B paleopoles and the Mesozoic and later pole positions from the Appalachians and the North American craton; and by agreement with Paleozoic poles from the region. The A component was probably acquired immediately after deformation during the Acadian orogeny. The B component is probably a chemical remanence that was acquired during Permo-Carboniferous (Kiaman) time. The C component is of recent origin, probably acquired in the present Earth's field. Paleomagnetic data from western Newfoundland are used in a localized setting to construct a paleopole sequence and to estimate paleolatitudes for western Newfoundland during the Paleozoic. Keeping in mind the paucity of data for Siluro-Devonian age from this region, western Newfoundland seems to have been at its southernmost position at the end of the Ordovician and to have occupied equatorial latitudes during the Permo-Carboniferous. The paleolatitude trend suggests that this block, which is part of the North American craton, moved in a southerly direction during the early Paleozoic and in a northerly direction during the middle and late Paleozoic.

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