Abstract

Electromagnetic surveys on the Abitibi–Grenville Lithoprobe transect have elucidated a number of conductivity signatures that can be genetically linked to Precambrian tectonic processes. Some major fault zones are moderately conductive, possibly signalling graphite deposition from a mantle CO2 flux along crust-penetrating fault systems. However, conductive (graphitic) metasedimentary rocks characteristic of foreland basins are apparently absent from the transect area. A weak inverse correlation between metamorphic grade and electrical conductivity was observed by following rock units across the Grenville Front into high-grade equivalents within the parautochthonous belt. A uniformly conductive mid-crustal layer extends across the Grenville Front, apparently without change in character. The existence of this ubiquitous mid-crustal conductor has been interpreted to mean that electrical conductivity is controlled by the present-day pressure, temperature, and fluid saturation of the lower crust, independent of ancient structure, mineralogy, or metamorphic grade. Lower crustal (upper mantle?) electrical anisotropy is pervasive across the transect area. An apparent spatial correlation of conductivity anisotropy with Archean tectonic deformation patterns has been interpreted to indicate that the lithosphere has remained intact since the Neoarchean.

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