Distributed crustal-scale faulting in the Cobequid Highlands in the Middle Devonian to Carboniferous resulted from the oblique convergence of the Meguma and Avalon terranes. In the northeastern Cobequid Highlands, seismic reflection profiles show Neoproterozoic and lower Paleozoic rocks, together with enigmatic foliated rocks, overlying the Early Carboniferous Fountain Lake Group. The foliated rocks form the hanging wall of a north-vergent thrust fault. Their protolith is inferred from petrography and geochemistry to be principally Neoproterozoic rhyodacitic tuff and late Paleozoic hypabyssal intrusions. The age of thrusting is stratigraphically constrained to the late Tournaisian – mid-Viséan, and sericite from mylonite yielded a Tournaisian K–Ar age of 352 ± 8 Ma. The thrusting occurs at the base of a tectonic escape sheet and resulted from a restraining bend in the Rockland Brook master fault. Farther west, where the Rockland Brook fault trends almost east–west, Tournaisian extensional features include the Nuttby basin and widespread gabbro dykes, sills, and stocks. At deeper structural levels, granite plutons were intruded in a similar tectonic regime of thrusting and local extension by lateral movement of basement blocks. The emplacement process resulted from progressive widening of initial dykes, analogous to the dykes deformed in the thrust hanging wall. Regionally, in the Tournaisian of the southern Maritimes Basin half-graben formation was synchronous with pluton emplacement and thrusting in adjacent horsts.

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