Abstract

The McWatters metavolcanic rocks are structurally bounded lenses within the Cadillac tectonic zone on the southern boundary of the Abitibi greenstone belt. They comprise komatiite, tholeiitic basalt and gabbro, and calc-alkaline andesitic lavas and volcaniclastic rocks cut by calc-alkaline dioritic and lamprophyric dykes. The McWatters basalts are mid-ocean-ridge basalt type tholeiites exhibiting low incompatible trace element contents and [La/Yb]N < 1. They may have formed via relatively high degree partial melting of a rare-earth element depleted mantle source. The andesites exhibit chondrite-normalized trace-element patterns with light-rare-earth and large-ion lithophile element enrichments and negative Nb and Ti anomalies, comparable to those of subduction-related calc-alkaline andesites. McWatters units are distinct from nearby Blake River Group rocks, despite comparable lithological assemblages and some common geochemical characteristics. The McWatters basalts exhibit lower Ti/Y, Zr/Y, and La/Yb than the Blake River tholeiites, whereas the McWatters andesites display lower Ti/Zr and higher Zr/Y than the Blake River calc-alkaline units. The McWatters tholeiites can be correlated with northern Pontiac Group tholeiitic units based on similar trace-element ratios and parallel rare-earth-element patterns. Thus, the McWatters tholeiites represent Pontiac rocks, underthrust beneath the southern Abitibi belt and appearing as isolated and retrograded lenses in the Cadillac tectonic zone. They may represent the remnants of an ocean basin that once separated the southern Abitibi greenstone belt from the Pontiac Subprovince.

You do not currently have access to this article.