Abstract

The Seal Island Pluton outcrops only on small islands located on the continental shelf 45 km south of Nova Scotia, although geophysical data indicate that the pluton is part of large granitoid units that cover thousands of square kilometres farther offshore. Based on the island outcrops, the Seal Island Pluton consists of biotite monzogranite and muscovite–biotite monzogranite of uncertain relative age. Metasedimentary xenoliths combined with characteristic magnetic patterns indicate that the pluton intruded the Cambrian–Ordovician Meguma Group. Compared with the biotite monzogranite, the muscovite–biotite monzogranite is higher in SiO2, more peraluminous, and more depleted in heavy rare-earth elements, and also has lower εNd (−1.39 versus +0.82), possibly the result of more contamination by Meguma Group sedimentary rocks. The biotite monzogranite yielded a Late Devonian U–Pb (zircon) age of 362.8 ± 0.7 Ma. Although the relatively minor petrological differences between the two units do not preclude a co-magmatic relationship, the muscovite–biotite monzogranite could be 10–15 Ma older than the biotite monzogranite, based on its petrological similarities to parts of the onshore ca. 376–372 Ma Shelburne and Port Mouton plutons. Comparison with granite samples in offshore drill core indicates that granitoid rocks similar to those exposed on Seal and surrounding islands form part of large plutons farther offshore in the Meguma terrane. The age and petrochemical data from both onshore and offshore plutons indicate that peraluminous granitoid rocks in the Meguma terrane were derived from similar sources over a span of at least 20 million years. Magma genesis may have been related to mantle upwelling and stepping back of the subduction zone to the southeast subsequent to docking of Meguma terrane with adjacent Avalonia.

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