Abstract

The North American Central Plains (NACP) anomaly in enhanced electric conductivity and its relationship with the Paleoproterozoic Trans-Hudson orogen (THO) has been studied under the auspices of Lithoprobe for over a decade. The NACP anomaly was the first geophysical evidence of the existence of the THO beneath the Phanerozoic sediments of the Central Plains. This anomaly, detected geomagnetically in the late 1960s, has been the subject of a number magnetotelluric studies from the early 1980s. The PanCanadian and Geological Survey of Canada experiments in the 1980s and the Lithoprobe experiments in the 1990s together comprise four east–west and one north–south regional-scale profiles in Saskatchewan perpendicular to the strike of the orogen. In this paper, data from the northernmost line, coincident with seismic line S2B, are analysed and interpreted, and are shown to be key in determining the northern extension of the NACP anomaly. Dimensionality analysis confirms the rotation of deep crustal structures eastward to Hudson Bay, as earlier proposed on the basis of broad-scale geomagnetic studies. On this profile, as with the profile at the edge of the Paleozoic sediments, the NACP anomaly is imaged as lying within the La Ronge domain, in contact with the Rottenstone domain, and structurally above the Guncoat thrust, a late compressional feature. The location of the anomaly together with the surface geology suggests that the anomaly is caused either by sulphide mineralization concentrated in the hinges of folds, by graphite, or by a combination of both. Our interpretation of the data is consistent with that from other profiles, and suggests that the NACP anomaly was formed as a consequence of subduction and collisional processes involving northward subduction of the internides of the THO beneath the Hearne craton. On the southern part of this profile, a resistive structure is identified as the Sask craton, suggesting that Proterozoic rocks are above Archean rocks in the THO.

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