Abstract

The Grenville Front is a major tectonic boundary exposed on the Canadian Shield. The front is defined as the northwestern limit of Grenvillian deformation, on the basis of geochronological and metamorphic data. This boundary is also evident in some geophysical data sets. The Lithoprobe Abitibi–Grenville transect crosses the Grenville Front near Lac Témiscamingue in western Quebec. A new 114 km long deep seismic reflection line shows a crustal structure quite different from that seen on previous surveys across the Grenville Front. The Archean foreland (Pontiac Subprovince) has a pattern of reflectivity similar to that seen in most of the Superior Province. This pattern continues for some 30 km south of the surface exposure of the Grenville Front. There is no evidence for a band of dipping reflectors truncating the horizontal Pontiac reflectors; in fact, the leading edge of the Grenville Province is difficult to identify on the seismic section. The Moho is well defined and reveals that the crust thins under the Grenville Front. The magnetotelluric survey shows that the upper crust is resistive across the entire profile, but the resistivity is higher within a Grenvillian allochthonous terrane at the southern end of the profile. The mid-crustal low-resistivity layer and the upper mantle electrical anisotropy are also continuous across the Grenville Front. The Grenville Front is highly variable in its character along the Grenville Orogen, and this character may be strongly controlled by the nature of the foreland to the northwest.

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