Abstract

Lac de Gras diabase dykes trend north to NNE across the central Slave Province of the Canadian Shield. U–Pb baddeleyite ages of 2023 ± 2 and 2027 ± 4 Ma are interpreted as dyke emplacement ages. These ages are similar to that of the Booth River igneous complex, exposed along the margins of Kilohigok Basin near the northern end of the dyke swarm. Ten paleomagnetic sites (from four to six dykes) yield a mean paleopole at 11.8°N, 92.1°W (dm = 8.4°, dp = 6.0°). A positive baked contact test where a Lac de Gras dyke crosscuts a NE-trending Malley dyke demonstrates that this pole is primary. It represents the first key Paleoproterozoic pole from the Slave Province and, hence, the first Paleoproterozoic Slave pole suitable for reconstructing paleocontinents. Although a direct comparison is not available with precisely dated paleopoles of identical age from other Archean cratons, a comparison is made with a sequence of precisely dated poles from Superior Province dyke swarms, including those 40–50 million years older and 25 million years younger. It yields two options depending on the relative magnetic polarity assumed for data from the two cratons. The two cratons were either at similar latitudes, but not in their present relative orientations, when the swarms were emplaced, or separated in latitude by ∼40°–60°. In either case, they may have drifted separately or formed part of a single (super)continent that subsequently broke up with the two cratons drifting separately to attain their present configuration. Additional key paleopoles are required to distinguish between these interpretations.

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