Abstract

In the Humber Zone of the Newfoundland Appalachians, Cambro-Ordovician shelf and foreland basin successions are affected by Middle Ordovician (Taconian orogeny) and Devonian (Acadian orogeny) deformation. On Port au Port Peninsula the presence of the Late Ordovician to Late Silurian Long Point – Clam Bank succession allows these episodes to be separated. The Taconian foreland basin stratigraphy on Port au Port Peninsula is highly variable. On the west coast, platform carbonates are overlain by megaconglomerates of the Cape Cormorant Formation, which record progressive exposure of 1 km of the platform succession. The conglomerates are restricted to a narrow zone, consistent with derivation from a fault scarp originally immediately west of the outcrops (in palinspastic restoration). Farther east, at Victors Brook, the Cape Cormorant Formation is absent, but the overlying, almost undeformed Goose Tickle Group contains conglomerate derived both from the upper part of the platform succession and from the Taconian Humber Arm Allochthon. Southeast of Victors Brook, the top of the platform is overlain directly by scaly shales and mélange of the Humber Arm Allochthon, which includes deformed equivalents of the foreland basin succession. The distribution of conglomeratic units, the presence and configuration of faults, and the preservation of the Goose Tickle Group in the Victors Brook area imply that a fault-bounded basin developed in advance of the Humber Arm Allochthon during the Taconian orogeny. This basin is interpreted to have resulted from flexural extension of North American lithosphere. The close spatial coincidence between later Acadian structures and the Taconian basin boundaries implies that the basin-bounding faults were reactivated as thrusts and reverse faults, and that the basin underwent inversion during Acadian thrusting. The western basin-bounding fault, modified by the development of a "short cut" thrust, developed into the present-day Round Head thrust.

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