Abstract

The Pelican thrust is a major ductile high-strain zone in the Reindeer Zone, Trans-Hudson Orogen, northern Saskatchewan. It is interpreted as the main sole thrust separating stacked juvenile Paleoproterozoic allochthons and underlying Archean microcontinental crust in this central part of the orogen. Exposed nonmylonitic rocks in the footwall of the thrust consist of the Sahli monzocharnockite and the smaller, more highly retrograded MacMillan Point granite. Protomylonitic to ultramylonitic gneisses in the thrust zone derive from a variety of prethrust protoliths. A footwall "internal suite" mainly comprises quartzofeldspathic orthogneisses ("Q" gneisses) and high-grade migmatitic paragneisses. Hanging-wall "external suite" mylonitic gneisses include feldspar-porphyroclastic hornblendic grey gneisses probably derived from arc plutons, and laminated amphibolites derived from volcanic rocks. The overlying allochthon mainly comprises protoliths equivalent to those of the porphyroclastic orthogneisses and laminated amphibolites, together with interfolded and overlying Paleoproterozoic paragneisses of the Kisseynew domain. The Sahli monzoeharnockite yields 207Pb/206Pb zircon and whole-rock Rb–Sr ages of ca. 2500 Ma, and the "Q" gneisses give 207Pb/206Pb zircon ages of up to ca 2900 Ma, implying that most of the internal suite (footwall) mylonite protoliths are Archean. In contrast, external suite (hanging wall) porphyroclastic orthogneisses yield ca. 1880–1840 Ma 207Pb/206Pb zircon ages. Main, peak-metamorphic displacement on the Pelican thrust is interpreted to have occurred mainly between 1840 and 1820 Ma, as indicated by 207Pb/206Pb zircon ages from small, highly deformed synthrusting granite–pegmatite neosomal bodies in the thrust zone. Undeformed postcollisional granites and pegmatites were emplaced~1789 Ma. Total duration from arc development to completion of arc–continent collision was ~100 Ma. The Pelican thrust zone may be similar in significance and style to younger, major, ocean closure related thrusts such as the Frontal Pennine thrust of the western Alps and the Main Mantle, Main Boundary, and Main Central thrusts of the Himalayas. As for the Pelican thrust, these displace oceanic rocks over older basement.

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