An Archean mafic dike complex in the Chan Formation at the base of the mafic volcanic section of the Yellowknife greenstone belt consists of multiple metagabbro dikes and sills separated by screens of pillowed mafic volcanic rocks, which are cut by a younger postvolcanic metadiabase dike swarm. Field relationships and geochemical characteristics are compatible with a comagmatic origin for the metagabbro and metavolcanic rocks that were fed through and deposited on an older, rift-related, supracrustal sequence of the Dwyer Group. The synvolcanic metagabbro dikes have extended the strike length of the volcanic section by at least 100%. The mafic rocks of the Chan Formation are geochemically similar to mid-ocean ridge basalt, possibly with a minor subduction-zone component. Preliminary εNd values for metagabbroic rocks are consistent with the derivation of magmas predominantly from a normal, depleted-mantle source. The Chan Formation is interpreted to have formed in a marginal basin-like setting, adjacent to a previously rifted and attenuated protocontinental margin.

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