Abstract

The 2.21 Ga Nipissing diabase sills intrude the Huronian Supergroup of the Southern Province. Coeval Senneterre dykes in the adjacent portion of the Superior Province are potential feeders for the sills. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) data were obtained from both of these units to study flow patterns and test emplacement models. The sills exhibit three distinct paleomagnetic directions that are likely primary and represent a time-correlation tool within the magmatic event. Two of the three directions are also found in Senneterre dykes. Sites in the northern Cobalt Embayment carry an N1 (reverse) paleomagnetic signature. They possess maximum AMS axes that trend north-northwest–south-southeast, interpreted as the direction of magma emplacement. In one area, the data rule out a cone sheet emplacement mechanism. The N3 paleomagnetic signature is restricted to a sill and (or) dyke-like bodies near Lake Timiskaming, where the AMS axes are dominantly north-northwest–south-southeast, similar to that of the nearby N1 (reverse) sites. Sites in a geographically restricted area farther south carry an N1 (normal) paleomagnetic direction. The AMS patterns in these sites exhibit very poor within- and between-site consistency, compatible with the magma having crystallized statically in this volumetrically minor magmatic pulse. In the Sudbury – Elliot Lake area, the Nipissing diabase is deformed, and outcrops exhibit east–west elongation parallel to the fold axes of the enclosing Huronian sedimentary rocks. AMS fabrics are interpreted as reflecting this deformation rather than primary magmatic flow. Three of eight Senneterre dyke sites show horizontal flow patterns, whereas the remainder have more complicated AMS patterns.

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