Abstract

U–Pb geochronology, paleomagnetism, and petrography indicate that the Molson dyke swarm, along the western margin of the Superior craton, is a composite of at least two ages of intrusion. The more extensive younger dyke set, the Molson swarm sensu stricto, generally has a 030° trend, is mainly pyroxenitic to noritic with subordinate diabase, and has been related to rifting in a back-arc environment during closure of the Manikewan ocean at about 1920–1800 Ma which culminated in the Trans-Hudson Orogen. A U–Pb zircon age from one of these dykes, located at Cauchon Lake, indicates emplacement at forumla, similar to two previous U–Pb age determinations on Molson dykes. Another dyke from Cauchon Lake yields a baddeleyite–zircon U–Pb date of 2091 ± 2 Ma and appears to be part of an older, mainly diabasic suite of east-northeast-trending dykes that may represent a continental rifting episode that preceded the opening of the Manikewan ocean. The new U–Pb age data require a revision to the interpretation of the A, B, and C paleomagnetic poles previously reported from Molson dykes. The A pole (16.1°N, 96.5°W), initially assigned an age of 1883 Ma, is now considered to be younger and derived from a Paleoproterozoic overprint associated with the Trans-Hudson Orogen at about 1700–1800 Ma. Pole B (27.1°N, 140.8°W) from the Molson swarm sensu stricto is now regarded as primary, and dated at 1880 Ma. Pole C can be subdivided into two poles, one virtually the same as B but of opposite polarity (and therefore about 1880 Ma old) and a new pole (53°N, 180°W) derived from a primary remanence and dated at 2091 Ma. The new paleomagnetic interpretations may have important consequences for tectonic models of the Trans-Hudson Orogen and for Paleoproterozoic continental reconstructions.

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