Abstract

Seismic reflection line 2B was shot across the Archean Red Lake greenstone belt and Sydney Lake fault zone that marks the northern boundary of the English River metasedimentary belt, as part of the Western Superior Lithoprobe transect. Three-dimensional tomographic inversion of first arrival traveltimes recorded in this survey delineate the subsurface to depths as great as 1.5 km around this crooked two-dimensional seismic line. Within the Red Lake greenstone belt, P-wave velocities of 6.2–7.0 km s−1 occur at 500 m depth in the Mesoarchean Balmer assemblage, clearly distinguishable from the lower velocities of 5.1–6.1 km s−1 of the Neoarchean Confederation assemblage. Although the overall range of velocities in the metasedimentary rocks of the English River subprovince is similar to that found in the Confederation assemblage, lower velocities of 5.1–5.4 km s−1 are found in the upper 300 m of the metasedimentary rocks. In particular, two 2–3 km wide, east-northeast-striking zones of low velocity are associated with the Sydney Lake fault zone and the Pakwash Lake fault zone. Correlation of the velocities with the coincident reflection section suggests that these two faults delineate a fault-bounded block in the hanging wall of a more northerly fault zone that crops out within the Uchi subprovince. Anomalous regions of low velocity, which occur at the boundary between the Confederation and Balmer assemblages, and within the Balmer assemblage, may also be related to shear zones that have minimal near-surface expression, felsic lithologies, or hydrothermal alteration of the basalts.

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