Abstract

New field and geochronological data are used to define the distribution of Mesoarchean basement rocks in the south-central Slave Province. This distribution reflects a single contiguous basement terrane that we propose to call the Central Slave Basement Complex. It shows a structural topology that is internally consistent and compatible with known regional folding and faulting events. A sample of a proposed basement gneiss below the Courageous Lake greenstone belt, central Slave Province, has been dated by U-Pb methods and yields an age of 3325 ± 8 Ma, consistent with the new basement distribution. This sample also contains 2723 ± 3 Ma metamorphic zircon and ca. 2680 Ma titanite. The Central Slave Basement Complex is overlain by a thin, discontinuous, but distinctive cover sequence that includes minor volcanic rocks, clastic sedimentary rocks, and banded iron formation. All previously known and some new occurrences of this distinctive cover sequence occur in the immediate stratigraphic hanging wall of the Central Slave Basement Complex, locally overlying a preserved in situ unconformity. We propose to call this post-2.93 Ga cover sequence the Central Slave Cover Group. It is perhaps best typified by detrital chromite-bearing, fuchsitic quartzites. Formal formation names are proposed for the spatially separate occurrences of the Central Slave Cover Group. Detrital zircon ages are presented for one of the formations of the Central Slave Cover Group, the Patterson Lake Formation, which occurs on the western flank of a local basement culmination known as the Sleepy Dragon Complex. The detrital zircon data provide evidence for two discrete basement sources dated at ca. 2943 Ma and ca. 3147-3160 Ma. These detrital ages reinforce the depositional link between the Central Slave Cover Group and underlying crystalline rocks of the Central Slave Basement Complex.

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