Abstract

The Midcontinent Rift in the Lake Superior region of North America is one of the best preserved examples of an aborted Precambrian intercontinental rift, one that hosts a diverse suite of rock types in addition to the well-studied and voluminous rift-fill flood basalts. Although there is a growing database of high-precision age information for the main volcanic packages and the largest mafic intrusions, there is relatively little information available on the absolute timing of mafic–ultramafic intrusions, dyke swarms, and alkaline complexes, especially in the Ontario portion of the rift. We report new high-precision U–Pb ages for 29 samples, primarily collected in the Lake Nipigon area, Ontario. From these new age results, it is now possible to expand the known distribution of Geon 15 magmatism in the region, confirm an early stage of Midcontinent Rift mafic magmatism between 1150 and 1130 Ma, provide evidence that significant mafic–ultramafic magmatism occurred in the Lake Nipigon region slightly earlier (∼1115–1110 Ma) than the main stage of rift magmatism (1108–1094 Ma), and further document synchronous ∼1110–1100 Ma tholeiitic and alkaline magmatism.

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