Abstract

Mélanges are common in the Humber and Dunnage zones of the Quebec Appalachians. Humber Zone mélanges are spatially associated with Taconian nappes and believed to be of tectonic origin. Dunnage Zone mélanges are interpreted as relicts of an Ordovician accretionary prism. The Ruisseau Isabelle Mélange (RIM) in the Gaspé Appalachians was first interpreted as a Dunnage Zone mélange, because of its tectonic position along the Baie Verte – Brompton Line and lithological components, such as dark mudstone, blocks of ultramafic rocks, and greenish chromite-bearing sandstone. The RIM comprises sedimentary rock assemblages (Composite Shale, Black Shale, and Chromite-Bearing Sandstone assemblages), an Exotic Block, a Pebbly Mudstone Assemblage and slivers of Serpentinized Peridotite, and Metamorphic Tectonite. Most mélanges of the Dunnage Zone in the Quebec Appalachians contain partly similar rocks, but their age is not well constrained. Recent work on the RIM and Cap-Chat Mélange of the Humber Zone and new fossil finds in the RIM rock assemblages allow us to conclude that previous distinction between mélanges of the Dunnage and Humber zones on the basis of rock-type associations is not valid. According to the age of the RIM rock assemblages, mélanges in the northern Gaspé Appalachians continued forming after the mid-Caradocian, later than the Dunnage Zone mélanges of southern Gaspé Appalachians. The juxtaposition and structural features of the RIM rock assemblages result from repeated faulting along the Shickshock Sud fault from Late Ordovician to Middle Devonian.

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