Abstract

This paper concerns the petrogenesis of the 504 ± 3 Ma Mont Chagnon massif, the southern extension of the Orford ophiolite in the Quebec Appalachians. The evolution of this massif is summarized in three stages marked by different magmatic series. In the Late Cambrian, the onset of southeastern subduction of the Iapetus basin generated an immature oceanic island arc made up of light rare-earth-element-depleted tholeiites, now preserved in the massif as a portion of the intrusive crustal unit, the dyke complex, and part of the lower volcanic unit. A phase of arc splitting, and concomitant partial erosion of the crustal section, was shortly followed by the eruption of rhyolite genetically related to felsic and low-Ti dykes, and trondhjemite. The geochemistry of these magmas bear some similarities with boninitic series. We believe these liquids derived from the partial melting of the Iapetus amphibolitized oceanic crust, with that of its Laurentian-derived sediments and nearby peridotite, either found as a trapped sliver above the subducting slab or as the slab itself. The final stage, preserved in the massif as a part of the intrusive section, the upper volcanic rocks, and the late-stage dykes, represents the back-arc opening. An ocean-island component is involved in the back-arc related petrogenetic processes, producing magmas with compositions intermediate between arc tholeiites and enriched back-arc basin basalts. This is the first report that the Iapetus basin was locally closing as early as Late Cambrian in the southern Quebec area.

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