Abstract

The North Caribou terrane of the western Superior Province attained continental thickness (∼35 km) by 2997 Ma. It records a subsequent 300 million years history of continental fragmentation, arc magmatism, and terrane accretion. At Lake Winnipeg the ∼2978 Ma Lewis–Storey quartzite–komatiite–iron formation assemblage marks Mesoarchean breakup. Unlike the relatively continuous 2980–2735 Ma stratigraphic record of the Red Lake and Birch-Uchi greenstone belts to the east, little of this interval is recorded at Lake Winnipeg. Rather, two belts of younger, juvenile rocks are tectonically juxtaposed: the Black Island assemblage of isotopically depleted, 2723 Ma basalt, and calc-alkaline andesite; and Rice Lake greenstone belt of basalt, calc-alkaline andesite, and dacite (2731–2729 Ma). Collectively these terranes represent a shortlived island-arc–back-arc system that docked with the southwestern North Caribou margin along a northwest-trending, dextral, transpressive, D1 suture. This zone is marked by the highly deformed coarse clastic Guano Island sequence (<2728 Ma) that contains detritus of North Caribou affinity and is interpreted as a strike-slip basin deposit. Younger clastic sequences, including the Hole River (<2708 Ma), San Antonio (<2705 Ma), and English River (<2704 Ma) assemblages, occur in east-west belts that may have been deposited during the terminal collision (D2, D3) between the North Caribou terrane and continental crust of the Winnipeg River terrane to the south. Several terrane docking events within a framework of north-dipping subduction and continental arc magmatism appear necessary to explain structural and stratigraphic relationships in the 2735–2700 Ma interval.

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