Abstract

The geological evolution of the eastern Grenville Province can be subdivided into three stages. During the first stage, namely pre-Labradorian (> 1710 Ma) and Labradorian (1710–1600 Ma) events, a continental-marginal basin was created and subsequently destroyed during accretion of a magmatic arc formed over a south-dipping subduction zone. Subduction was short-lived and arrested, leading to a passive continental margin. The second stage addresses events between 1600 and 1230 Ma. The passive margin lasted until 1520 Ma, following which a continental-margin arc was constructed during Pinwarian (1520–1460 Ma) orogenesis. Elsonian (1460–1230 Ma) distal-inboard, mafic and anorthositic magmatism, decreasing in age northward, is explained by funnelled flat subduction, possibly associated with an overridden spreading centre. As the leading edge of the lower plate advanced, it was forced beneath the Paleoproterozoic Torngat orogen root between the Archean Superior and North Atlantic cratons, achieving its limit of penetration by 1290 Ma. Static north-northeast-trending rifting then ensued, with mafic magmatism flanked by felsic products to the north and south. Far-field orogenic effects heralded the third stage, lasting from 1230 to 955 Ma. Until 1180 Ma, the eastern Grenville Province was under the distal, mild influence of Elzevirian orogenesis. From 1180 to 1120 Ma, mafic and anorthositic magmatism occurred, attributed to back-arc tectonism inboard of a post-Elzevirian Laurentian margin. Quiescence then prevailed until Grenvillian (1080–980 Ma) continent–continent collision. Grenvillian orogenesis peaked in different places at different times as thrusting released stress, thereby precipitating its shift elsewhere (pressure-point orogenesis). High-grade metamorphism, thrusting and minor magmatism characterized the Exterior Thrust Zone, in contrast to voluminous magmatism in the Interior Magmatic Belt. Following final deformation, early posttectonic anorthositic–alkali–mafic magmatism (985–975 Ma) and late posttectonic monzonitic–syenite–granite magmatism (975–955 Ma) brought the active geological evolution of this region to a close.

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