Abstract

Thrust-imbricated shelf-carbonate slices form a wide but poorly understood part of the southernmost Quebec Appalachian structural front. Comprehensive structural analysis of two slices exposed at surface, the Saint-Dominique and Philipsburg slices, shows that pre- and post-imbrication structures are important in defining the final architecture of the slices. The dominant structural style is characterized by thrusts and associated asymmetrical folds, tear faults, oblique ramps and incipient backthrusts developed during WNW–ESE shortening. A forward-breaking (piggy-back) sequence of thrusting is recognised, as well as minor out-of-sequence thrusting. The complexity and diversity of contractional structures is directly influenced by lithology (bed thickness and shale content). Bedding-parallel slip planes are important in the concentration (activation and reactivation) of deformation, in that there are the loci for veining, faulting, and folding. Recognition of lithostructural units provides guidelines for the identification of sub-seismic-scale structural traps in subsurface investigations. Extensional structures (normal faults, veins, tension gashes) are found within all carbonate slices, as well as within the footwall of their basal thrusts. Only a few pre-imbrication normal faults have been identified, one of which is a growth fault. Post-imbrication extensional structures are linked with strain relaxation after overthrusting. A widespread front-parallel strike-slip faulting event postdates all other structural features and can have a major impact on the compartmentalization of potential hydrocarbon reservoirs.

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