Abstract

Geochemical and isotopic data from the clastic rocks of the Namurian Lismore Formation in mainland Nova Scotia identify key episodes of tectonic activity during the development of the Maritimes Basin in Atlantic Canada. The Lismore Formation forms part of the Mabou Group and is an upward-coarsening 2500 m thick fluvial sequence deposited in the Merigomish sub-basin along the southern flank of the Maritimes Basin. Based on stratigraphic evidence, the Lismore Formation can be divided into upper and lower members which reflect variations in depositional environment and paleoclimate. The geochemical and isotopic data may also be subdivided into two groupings that primarily reflect varying contributions from accessory phases, clay minerals, or rock fragments. This subdivision occurs 115 m above the base of the upper member. The data from the lower grouping (group A) show an important contribution from underlying Silurian rocks, with a relatively minor contribution from Late Devonian granitoid rocks from the adjacent Cobequid Highlands and possibly metasedimentary rocks from the Meguma Terrane to the south. The data from the upper grouping (group B) reveal a more important contribution from the Cobequid Highlands granitoid rocks. This variation in geochemistry is thought to constrain the age of renewed motion and uplift along the faults along the southern flank of the Maritimes Basin and, more generally, suggests that geochemical and isotopic data of continental clastic rocks may help constrain the age of tectonic events that influence deposition of basin-fill rocks.

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