Abstract

A new model for evolution of the Archean Hopedale Block, based on mapping and supporting U–Pb geochronological and geochemical studies, is highlighted by (i) ca. 3.25 Ga emplacement of igneous precursors of Maggo Gneiss; (ii) >3.1 Ga, high-grade Hopedalian metamorphism and attendant deformation; (iii) emplacement of the Hopedale mafic dykes; (iv) 3.1 Ga deposition of Hunt River volcanic rocks; (v) ca. 3.0 Ga deposition of Florence Lake volcanic rocks; (vi) 2.88–2.96 Ga, greenschist- to amphibolite-facies Fiordian metamorphism and formation of penetrative, northeast-striking Fiordian structures; and (vii) emplacement of a suite of 2.89–2.83 Ga tonalite to granite intrusions, which partially overlap and locally postdate Fiordian metamorphism and deformation. The Hunt River and Florence Lake volcanic sequences are different in age but similar in most other respects. The former consists mainly of amphibo-lite-facies mafic metavolcanic rocks and lesser amounts of komatiite flows and metasedimentary and 3105±3 Ma felsic volcanic rocks. The Florence Lake volcanic belt consists mainly of greenschist- to amphibolite-facies mafic meta-volcanic rocks, lesser amounts of felsic metavolcanic rocks, dated at 2979±1 and 2990±2 Ma, komatiite flows, and rare metasedimentary rocks. The similarity of rock types, field relationships between different rock types, such as the common association of ultramafic and felsic metavolcanic rocks, and the chemistry of volcanic rocks in both belts suggest a common tectonic setting for each belt. A model involving episodic volcanism, separated by 100 Ma, in ensialic basins is consistent with the dominance of tholeiitic basalt and an abundance of pre-volcanic basement.

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