Abstract

The Berens River area of northwestern Ontario is underlain mainly by Archean felsic plutonic rocks, which enclose minor supracrustal and gneissic enclaves and merge with the greenstone-belt-rich Uchi Subprovince to the south. U-Pb geochronology using zircon and monazite shows that the batholiths evolved mainly between 2750 and 2690 Ma by sequential and essentially continuous intrusive activity into an older substratum composed of 3000-2800 Ma volcanic and tonalitic crust. There is a broad, but not strict, compositional transition from early biotite tonalite and hornblende tonalite, progressing with time towards a greater abundance of hornblende granodiorite to granite, and finally to late biotite granite, rare peraluminous granites, and sanukitoid (dioritic, monzodioritic to granitic) plutons. The tonalite suites were predominantly synvolcanic. The late granitic intrusions postdated volcanism, but were largely synchronous with the main compressional events that caused widespread sedimentation, deformation, and metamorphism in other parts of the region. The age patterns and compositional features of the batholiths and the spatial and temporal links between their evolution and those of the supracrustal sequences in the greenstone belts of the region are consistent with mechanisms of magma generation and emplacement at converging plate margins.

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