Abstract

Four U–Pb dating sites straddling the Grenville front on the Labrador coast were investigated. Sites 1 and 2 exhibit complex intrusive, deformational, and metamorphic histories and were studied in detail, whereas two simpler outcrops (sites 3 and 4) were examined only at a reconnaissance level. At site 1, south of the Grenville front, a forumla Ma granodioritic gneiss is intruded by two phases of mafic dykes, then by a forumla Ma aplite and a ca. 1647–1500 Ma pegmatite, and lastly by the Michael gabbro. The pegmatite was metamorphosed at 1030 ± 10 Ma. Site 2 is on the Cut Throat Island thrust, which defines the Grenville front in the area. Early mylonitization occurred at 1790 ± 2 Ma, followed by 1730 ± 2 Ma pegmatite emplacement and then cooling at 1703 ± 15 Ma. A post-deformational melt pod gave a titanite age of 1662 ± 10 Ma. In the mylonitic host, based on positive correlation between Pb loss and degree of granularization in monazite, Grenvillian deformation was very short-lived. Sites 3 and 4 (north of the Cut Throat Island thrust), yielded 1709 ± 10 and 1726 ± 34 Ma ages, respectively. Lack of marked younger Pb loss demonstrates that these sites escaped both Labradorian and Grenvillian metamorphism. Emplacement, deformation, and (or) metamorphism occurred at 1800–1790 Ma, 1730–1700 Ma, 1660–1650 Ma, possibly at 1500 Ma, and at 1040–1030 Ma. The Cut Throat Island thrust was active during all events, but none was confined to it. The thrust marks the northern limit of Labradorian and Grenvillian orogenesis, but because similar pre-Labradorian history is preserved on both sides of the thrust, it is not a fundamental tectonic boundary after 1800 Ma. Nevertheless, because reactivation occurred during every geological orogenic event known in the region, it clearly represents a zone of persistent crustal weakness.

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