Abstract

The Split Lake Block forms a partly retrogressed, granulite-grade basement segment located at the northwestern margin of the Superior Province in Manitoba. Unlike other segments along the craton margin, the effects of Proterozoic tectonism are relatively minor in the Split Lake Block, making it amenable to establishing firm temporal constraints for the Archean magmatic and metamorphic history of the northwestern Superior Province margin. Consequently, samples from the main lithological units within the Split Lake Block were selected for precise singlegrain U–Pb zircon geochronology. Heterogeneous zircon populations isolated from representative enderbite, tonalite, and granodiorite samples reveal a complex growth history with pre-2.8 Ga protolith ages (e.g., 2841 ± 2 Ma tonalite), possibly as old as 3.35 Ga as indicated in a granodiorite sample. The youngest Archean granitic magmatism identified in the eastern Split Lake Block is represented by the 2708 ± 3 Ma Gull Lake granite. A U–Pb zircon age of forumla Ma obtained for leucosome in mafic granulite is interpreted to reflect the timing of granulite-grade metamorphism in the Split Lake Block, supported by polyphase zircon growth and (or) lead loss at ca. 2.7 Ga in the enderbite sample. A younger phase of metamorphic zircon growth at ca. 2.62 Ga is documented in the tonalite and granodiorite zircon populations. The 2.70–2.71 Ga crust formation, the occurrence of ca. 2695 Ma high-grade metamorphism, and broadly contemporaneous Paleoproterozoic mafic dykes in both the Split Lake Block and Pikwitonei Granulite Domain imply a common evolution of these high-grade terrains along the northwestern Superior craton margin since the late Archean.

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