Abstract

The White Rock Formation in the Yarmouth area of the Meguma terrane of southern Nova Scotia consists mainly of mafic tuffaceous rocks with less abundant mafic flows, epiclastic and clastic sedimentary rocks, and minor intermediate and felsic crystal tuff. It is divided into seven map units that appear to young from west to east, inconsistent with a previously assumed synclinal structure. The White Rock Formation is flanked on both northwest and southeast by mainly the Cambrian to Lower Ordovician Halifax Formation; the western contact is interpreted to be a sheared disconformity, whereas the eastern contact appears to be a major brittle fault and shear zone that juxtaposes different crustal levels. The granitic Brenton Pluton forms a faulted lens within the eastern shear zone. A felsic tuff from the upper part of the White Rock Formation yielded a U–Pb zircon age of forumla Ma, identical within error to published ages for the Brenton Pluton and felsic volcanic rocks near the base of the White Rock Formation in the Torbrook area of western Nova Scotia. The chemical characteristics of the mafic volcanic rocks and associated mafic intrusions consistently indicate alkalic affinity and a continental within-plate setting. The felsic volcanic rocks and Brenton Pluton have chemical characteristics of within-plate anorogenic granitic rocks, and the pluton is interpreted to be comagmatic with the felsic volcanic rocks. The igneous activity may have occurred in response to extension as the Meguma terrane rifted away from Gondwana in the latest Ordovician to Early Silurian. Epsilon Nd values are similar to those in voluminous Devonian plutonic rocks of the Meguma terrane, and the magmas appear to have been derived from similar sources.

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