Abstract

An extensive set of north- to northwest-trending diabase dykes, termed the Lac Esprit swarm, is identified in the Superior Province east of James Bay based on geological mapping and a distinctive paleomagnetic pole (61.7°N, 169.1°E, dm = 7.7°, dp = 5.5°). The Lac Esprit swarm yields a U–Pb baddeleyite age of 2069 ± 1 Ma similar to that of the forumla Fort Frances swarm of the western Superior Province. Their paleomagnetic declinations differ by 23° ± 12° after correction to a common reference locality. The difference is likely due mainly to counterclockwise rotation about a vertical axis of the Fort Frances area relative to the Lac Esprit area. Differential rotation of 10°–20° has been proposed more locally across the Kapuskasing Structural Zone separating the eastern and western Superior Province in earlier paleomagnetic studies of ca. 2450 Ma Matachewan and 2170 Ma Biscotasing dyke swarms. Thus, relative rotation may have involved the entire eastern and western Superior Province, perhaps in response to collisional events associated with the Trans-Hudson Orogen to the north or the Penokean orogen to the south, or in response to rifting beneath Hudson Bay. Other dykes in the study area are interpreted from a combination of paleomagnetism, trend, and geochemistry to belong to the Senneterre, Matachewan, and Mistassini swarms. The 2216 Ma Senneterre dykes form part of a giant swarm that fans across the eastern Superior Province. Paleomagnetic directions and geometry of this swarm rule out substantial block rotations within the eastern Superior Province since dyke emplacement.

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