Abstract

40Ar/39Ar dates from eight muscovite separates and two whole-rock samples of slate, siltstone, and sandstone provide detrital, metamorphic, and post-metamorphic overprinting ages for the low-grade metamorphic rocks of the Meguma Supergroup in the Mahone Bay region of southern Nova Scotia. Variably reset detrital muscovite ages of 600-550 Ma agree with previously obtained U-Pb dates from detrital zircon. Separates of foliation-parallel muscovite yield precise 40Ar/39Ar ages of 395-388 Ma. Petrographic and metamorphic data indicate that these are metamorphic mica growth ages. The range overlaps with the younger limit of previously reported whole-rock ages (410-380 Ma), but is more tightly constrained. An apparent inconsistency between previous 40Ar/39Ar whole-rock ages as old as 410 Ma and regional deformation that affected sedimentary rocks as young as 385 Ma has been resolved by the younger ages reported here and by recent adjustments to the early Paleozoic time scale which suggest that the Lochkovian to Emsian Torbrook Group was deposited between 419 and 394 Ma. A muscovite plateau age of 376 Ma from one sample may be related to late-stage flexural slip deformation in the Ovens gold district.

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