Abstract

Bulk chemistry, mineralogy, mineral chemistry, cathodoluminescence characteristics, and textural data are used to constrain provenance and the role of postdepositional alteration processes in sandstones of the lower Huronian Matinenda Formation. Samples studied are from the Elliot Lake – Blind River and Agnew Lake areas, which experienced subgreenschist and biotite-grade greenschist metamorphism, respectively. Both areas, but particularly the lower grade area, contain some K-rich samples, with much of the K in detrital-appearing K-feldspar. In places K-feldspar is partially replaced by potassic mica. Plagioclase (mostly albite) is rare in the Elliot Lake – Blind River samples, and only common along a few horizons in the Agnew Lake section. It is suggested that the predominance of K-feldspar over plagioclase and the high K/Na ratios indicate a K-rich source area and in particular a weathered granite source. Framework mineralogy is found to be similar to material reported from sub-Matinenda weathered granite. The abundance of fine-grained micaceous matrix within the Matinenda varies considerably among samples, and the composition of the mica varies, correlating strongly with bulk chemistry. Some matrix has clearly been generated by alteration of framework K-feldspar. Feldspar alteration may have liberated K that was carried to the underlying regolith where it was fixed by weathering-product clay minerals. Fluids involved in alteration do not appear to have pervasively affected the Matinenda in either the Elliot Lake – Blind River or the Agnew Lake area.

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