Abstract

Structural mapping in central Newfoundland has identified seven distinct phases of deformation (D1 to D7), the most significant of which are D1, D2, and D4. D1 involved the formation of a Middle and Late Ordovician southsoutheast-directed thrust belt and concomitant development of mylonite and phyllonite. A Late Ordovician to Early Silurian D2 thrust and fold belt overprints D1 mylonitic deformation and is the most distinctive deformation event in the study area. Late Silurian to Devonian D4 is responsible for folds and north-northwest-directed dextral thrust and reverse faults that overprint D1 to D3 structures. D4 structures in central Newfoundland include the Exploits–Gander boundary. Subsequent deformation is generally of local significance only. The arc–back-arc complexes making up the various terranes in central Newfoundland are predominantly juxtaposed along D1 shear zones, which include the Red Indian Line. Our data indicate that terrane boundaries initiated during D1 may have protracted deformation histories spanning several deformation events. This has important implications for the interpretation of terrane boundaries in Newfoundland, as D1 terrane boundaries may be interpreted as D2 or D4 shear zones depending on the intensity of overprinting or reactivation. The deformation history proposed in this paper corresponds closely to that of established Appalachian orogenic cycles. D1 is correlated with the Ordovician Taconic orogeny and involved accretion of arc–back-arc complexes to the Laurentian margin. D2 and D4 are correlated with the Ordovician–Silurian Salinic and Silurian–Devonian Acadian orogenies, which involved the subsequent accretion of the Ganderia and Avalonia microcontinents to the Laurentian margin, respectively.

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