Abstract

A three-dimensional model of the regional crustal architecture of the western Trans-Hudson Orogen, based on the interpretation of 590 km of deep-sounding seismic reflection data and a comparable length of existing seismic reflection information, is presented. The seismic images identify the regional geometry of the basal detachment zone (Pelican thrust) that separates juvenile allochthonous terranes from the underlying Archean microcontinent (Sask craton). The Sask Craton is inferred to have a minimum spatial extent of over 100 000 km2 with an associated crustal root that extends for 200 km along strike. During terminal collision, complete convergence of the Rae–Hearne and Superior continental blocks was precluded by the presence of the Sask Craton, resulting in the preservation of anomalous amounts of oceanic and associated sedimentary juvenile material. Along regional tectonic strike, consistency of crustal structure across the Rae–Hearne margin – Reindeer zone boundary is established. Several phases of tectonic development, including multistage subduction and continent–continent collision, are inferred for the western margin of the orogen. A bright, shallow (2–3.5 s two-way traveltime) band of reflectivity (Wollaston Lake reflector) imaged over ∼150 000 km2 area is inferred to be a large post-orogenic mafic intrusion. A highly reflective, well-defined and structurally disturbed Moho discontinuity is mapped throughout the western Trans-Hudson Orogen. The present-day crustal architecture of the western Trans-Hudson Orogen is described in terms of the tectonic evolution within the region.

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