Study of the northern Saskatchewan–District of Mackenzie segment of the Snowbird tectonic zone suggests that fragments of relatively stiff mid-Archean crust, possibly arc related, have controlled the localization, shape, and complex kinematics of the multistage Striding–Athabasca mylonite zone during the Archean, as well as the geometry of the Early Proterozoic rifted margin of the western Churchill continent. By the late Archean, the Striding–Athabasca mylonite zone was located in the interior of the western Churchill continent, well removed from the contemporaneous plate margins. Except for the Alberta segment, the Snowbird tectonic zone was not the site of an Early Proterozoic plate margin. We suggest that the geometry of the Archean–Early Proterozoic boundary in the western Canadian Shield represents a jagged continental margin, composed of a pair of reentrants defined by rifted and transform segments. These segments were inherited from Early Proterozoic breakup and controlled by the Archean structure of the interior of the western Churchill continent. The geometry of this margin appears to have strongly influenced the Early Proterozoic tectono-magmatic evolution of the western Canadian Shield.

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