U-Pb zircon and monazite dates for granulite-facies basement xenoliths from the Popes Harbour dyke on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia provide strong evidence that the Meguma terrane overlies Avalonian basement. Slightly discordant (1.6%), "facetted" zircons from a mafic granulite indicate a minimum crystallization age of ~629 Ma, with near-concordant (0.7%) rounded zircons suggesting a maximum age for the last metamorphic event affecting the zircons at ~575 Ma. Two near-concordant (-0.9 to 0.4%) monazite fractions from a pelitic granulite indicate a major metamorphic disturbance at 378 ± 1 Ma, ~10 Ma prior to dyke entrainment and coincident with Meguma regional metamorphism. Projections from 378 Ma through four highly discordant (15-42%) metapelite zircon fractions give provenance ages between 880 and 1050 Ma and two others project to maximum ages of ~1530 Ma. Unlike Meguma sediments which lack Grenvillian-age (~1 Ga) detrital zircons and are dominated by ~2000 Ma detrital zircons, these dates indicate a dominantly Grenvillian-age provenance for the pelitic xenoliths. The "Avalonian" igneous, metamorphic, and provenance ages from the xenoliths suggest the Meguma rests on Avalonian basement. Because Avalonian sediments need a Grenvillian provenance and Meguma sediments lack such a source but require a graphic2.0 Ga component missing in the xenoliths, it seems unlikely the Meguma was deposited on Avalonian crust. Thus the dating places on firmer footing the suggestion from earlier structural, seismic, and geochemical work that the Meguma structurally overlies Avalonian terrane. Thrusting occurred between the time of earliest Meguma deformation (~400 Ma) and intrusion of the xenolith-bearing dyke (~370 Ma).

You do not currently have access to this article.