Abstract

Integrated paleomagnetic and U–Pb geochronologic studies have been conducted to establish the paleomagnetic directions and ages of Early Proterozoic tholeiitic dykes of northeast trend in the southern Superior Province, previously referred to collectively as Preissac dykes. It is demonstrated that they are readily separated on the basis of paleomagnetism into subsets, referred to as the Biscotasing and Senneterre swarms. In addition a pair of unnamed dykes may be associated with the north-and northwest-trending Matachewan swarm farther west.Biscotasing dykes have a down-west magnetization of single polarity with a corresponding paleopole at 27.8°N, 136.7°W (dm = 12.3° and dp = 9.4°). Senneterre dykes carry an up-north (or occasionally down-south) direction with corresponding paleopole at 15.3°S, 75.7°W (dm = 7.0°, dp = 4.4°). The Senneterre direction is indistinguishable from the primary N1 remanence direction that dominates the magnetization of Nipissing sills of the Southern Province. Paleomagnetic field tests described herein or in earlier studies indicate that Biscotasing and Senneterre directions are primary and, hence, that two ages of intrusion are involved, with the age of Senneterre dykes coinciding with the intrusion of most Nipissing sills. U–Pb dating of baddeleyite conducted at a paleomagnetic sampling site yields an age of 2214.3 ± 12.4 Ma for the Senneterre swarm, indistinguishable from the age of 2217.2 ± 4 Ma reported from an N1 Nipissing sill site in another study. A U–Pb age on baddeleyite and zircon of 2166.7 ± 1.4 Ma was obtained from a paleomagnetic site in the Biscotasing swarm. The primary paleopoles for the Senneterre, Nipissing, and Biscotasing rocks define a direction of polar wander opposite to that of the most widely used polar wander paths for North America for this period, suggesting that these paths should no longer be used.

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