Abstract

The Riding Island Graywacke (late Caradoc – Ashgill) crops out in Notre Dame Bay, north-central Newfoundland. Previous tectonic interpretations suggest that this succession of turbidites and hemipelagic mudstone accumulated in a basin adjacent to an active volcanic arc. The varied framework mineralogy of 29 Riding Island samples studied, however, records derivation from a complex source terrane composed of mafic and silicic volcanic rocks, sedimentary and metamorphic successions, and plutonic rocks. Assessment of the tectonic environment of deposition of the Riding Island Graywacke by use of popular sandstone provenance ternary diagrams yields ambiguous results. The mineralogy of the Riding Island samples reveals a change in tectonic scenario from one dominated by island-arc volcanism in pre-Caradoc time to a setting marked by tectonic shortening, transcurrent faulting, and terrane accretion near the end of the Ordovician. The complex composition of these sandstones and the fact that they accumulated after island-arc volcanism had ended argue for deposition in a collisional successor basin that formed during the early stages of mountain building along the proto-North American continental margin. This inferred Late Ordovician collisional successor basin may have also been the locus of deposition for other minera-logically complex late Caradoc – Ashgill units exposed in Notre Dame Bay, such as the Sansom Formation.

You do not currently have access to this article.