Abstract

A combined U–Pb and field mapping study of the Island Lake greenstone belt has led to the recognition of three distinct supracrustal assemblages. These assemblages record magmatic episodes at 2897, 2852, and 2744 Ma. Voluminous plutonic rocks within the belt range in age from 2894 to 2730 Ma, with a concentration at 2744 Ma. U–Pb data also show that a regional fault that transects the belt, the Savage Island shear zone, is not a terrane-bounding structure. The youngest sedimentary group in the belt, the Island Lake Group, has an unconformable relationship with older plutons. Sedimentation in this group is bracketed between 2712 and 2699 Ma. This group, and others similar to it in the northwestern Superior Province, is akin to Timiskaming-type sedimentary groups found throughout the Superior Province and in other Archean cratons. These data confirm that this belt experienced a complex geological history that spanned at least 200 million years, which is typical of greenstone belts in this area. Age correlations between the Island Lake belt and other belts in the northwest Superior Province suggest the existence of a volcanic “megasequence”. This evidence, in combination with Nd isotopic data, indicates that the Oxford–Stull domain, and the Munro Lake, Island Lake, and North Caribou terranes may have been part of a much larger reworked Mesoarchean crustal block, the North Caribou superterrane. It appears that the Superior Province was assembled by accretion of such large independent crustal blocks, whose individual histories involved extended periods of autochthonous development.

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