Abstract

Petrochemical, paleomagnetic, and structural studies on Early Proterozoic dyke swarms show that the rocks of the Kapuskasing structural zone (KSZ), central Superior Province, were upthrust about 10–15 km along the Ivanhoe Lake fault after intrusion of 2.04 Ga Kapuskasing dykes. This uplift was part of a more widespread deformation in flanking terranes that involved sinistral motion along north–north-northwest-trending faults, dextral displacement along east-northeast–northeast-trending faults, and a distortion of the 2.45 Ga Matachewan swarm to the west and northwest of the Ivanhoe Lake fault. The most spectacular demonstration that the KSZ is largely a product of Proterozoic deformation is that Matachewan dykes change their magnetic polarity on crossing the zone, a consequence of remanence acquisition at deep crustal levels being delayed until after a reversal of the earth's magnetic field and prior to uplift of the dykes.Matachewan and Kapuskasing dykes within the amphibolite- to granulite-grade rocks of the KSZ are relatively fresh and contain a high-alumina green amphibole and feldspar laths that exhibit tea-coloured clouding due to the presence of submicroscopic inclusions of magnetite. These features may be diagnostic of crystallization at deeper crustal levels because they are found in regions where Rb–Sr biotite ages from tonalites suggest broad-scale uplift of the crust after about 2 Ga. About 50 km west of the KSZ, dykes exhibiting clouded feldspar and high-alumina amphiboles occur on the upthrown side of the Budd Lake fault zone, which has a trend similar to that of the Ivanhoe Lake fault. Therefore a second thrust block may exist, raising the possibility that the KSZ represents the basal member of a series of imbricate thrust slices that extends westwards from the Ivanhoe Lake fault. Radiometric age data suggest that the region affected by this Early Proterozoic deformation continues to the northwest for a further 300 km.

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