Abstract

In western Superior province, the North Caribou terrane (NCT) constitutes a Mesoarchean proto-continent heavily overprinted by Neoarchean magmatism and deformation resulting from the western Superior Province accretion. Locally, along the southern margin of the NCT, Mesoarchean (∼3.0 Ga) rift sequences are preserved. These sequences are of key importance to our understanding of the early tectonic evolution of continental crust. The Wallace Lake greenstone belt is located at the southern margin of the NCT and includes the Wallace Lake assemblage, the Big Island assemblage, the Siderock Lake assemblage, and the French Man Bay assemblage. The Wallace Lake assemblage exposes one of the best-preserved Mesoarchean rift sequences along the southern margin of the NCT. The volcano-sedimentary assemblage (3.0–2.92 Ga) exposes arkoses derived from the uplift of a tonalite basement in a subaqueous environment, capped by carbonate and iron formation. Mafic to ultramafic volcanic rocks exhibiting crustal contamination and derived from plume magmatism cap this rift sequence. The Wallace Lake assemblage exhibits D1 Mesoarchean deformation. The Big Island assemblage comprises mafic volcanic rocks of oceanic affinity that were docked to the Wallace Lake assemblage along northwest-trending D2 shear zones. The timing of volcanism and docking of the Big Island assemblage remain uncertain. The Siderock Lake and French Man Bay assemblages were deposited in strike-slip basins related to D3 and D4 stages of movement of the transcurrent Wanipigow fault (<2.709 Ga). Regionally, the Wallace Lake assemblage correlates with the Lewis–Story Rift assemblage observed in Lake Winnipeg, whereas the Big Island assemblage appears to correlate with the Black Island assemblage observed in the Lake Winnipeg area. Thus, the North Caribou terrane appears to preserve vestiges of a Mesoarchean rifted succession together with overlying Neoarchean allochthonous, juvenile, volcanic successions over a considerable distance along its present-day southern margin.

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