Abstract

The Upper Ordovician Trenton Group of southern Quebec represents the last Taconian foreland basin carbonate unit in the Quebec Reentrant, prior to final collapse of Laurentia's continental margin and its burial under synorogenic flysch. The Trenton Group, either conformably or unconformably, overlies the Black River Group and is in turn conformably overlain by the Utica Shales. The tripartite Trenton carbonate unit records progressive deepening: (1) very shallow to shallow subtidal, (2) shallow to deep carbonate ramp, and (3) shallow to deep outer shelf. Regional facies distribution, lithotectonic elements, and thickness variations indicate that the Trenton shelf was dissected by extensional faults delineating blocks subsiding at various rates. This scenario compares favourably with Taconian foreland basin development in the Middle Ordovician Table Head Group at the St. Lawrence Promontory, Newfoundland. A similar stratigraphic succession and tectono-sedimentary history occurring 10–15 Ma earlier at the St. Lawrence Promontory than in the Quebec Reentrant argues for a primary tectonic control for the demise of carbonate sedimentation at the margin. The diachroneity in the foreland evolution can be related to the irregular morphology of the Laurentia continental margin.

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