Abstract

Low-plunging, transport-parallel F3 folds are common at all scales in the Central Gneiss Belt of the Grenville Province, but few of these folds are sheath folds. Where the D1-D2 Parry Sound shear zone intersects the D3 Shawanaga shear zone (SSZ) at a high angle, F3 folds formed at several scales (centimetre to greater than outcrop scale) in layered D1-D2 “straight” gneisses. At the start of their evolution, the F3 folds formed just beyond the SSZ with hinges near orthogonal to the D3 shear direction and with typical buckle features, e.g., wavelengths vary with layer thickness, and hinges are discontinuous and bifurcate. The buckle folds evolved within the SSZ by rotation of hinges towards the shear direction. Even though hinges initiated at a high angle to the shear direction, sheath folds were not produced. In addition to tightening the buckles, the ductile reorientation produced thin-thick (extended-shortened) limb pairs and very straight, ridge-like fold hinges and removed small folds from the extended limbs of larger folds. Such features may serve as criteria to distinguish transport-parallel folds that initiated in layering at high angles to the shear direction from those formed in layers containing the shear direction. A general shear parallel to the SSZ can reproduce several features inferred to mark stages in the progressive reorientation of the folds; the pure shear component of the general shear is inferred to have had a positive stretch direction down the dip of the shear zone, at a high angle to the transport (simple shear) direction. The interplay of buckling and shearing in the study area is, plausibly, the expression of deformation at the upper boundary of a channel-like flow that succeeded initial crustal thickening.

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