Abstract

The 1.9 Ga Coronation “geosyncline” to the west of Slave craton was among the first Precambrian continental margins to be identified, but its duration as a passive margin has long been uncertain. We report a new U–Pb (isotope dilution – thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID–TIMS)) 207Pb/206Pb date of 2014.32 ± 0.89 Ma for zircons from a felsic pyroclastic rock at the top of the Vaillant basalt, which underlies the passive margin sequence (Epworth Group) at the allochthonous continental slope. A sandstone tongue within the basalt yields Paleoproterozoic (mostly synvolcanic) and Mesoarchean detrital zircon dates, of which the latter are compatible with derivation from the Slave craton. In contrast, detrital zircon grains from the Zephyr arkose in the accreted Hottah terrane have Paleoproterozoic and Neoarchean dates. The latter cluster tightly at 2576 Ma, indistinguishable from igneous zircon dates reported here from the Badlands granite, which is faulted against the Vaillant basalt and underlying Drill arkose. We interpret these data to indicate that Badlands granite belongs to the hanging wall of the collisional geosuture between Hottah terrane and the Slave margin, represented by the Drill–Vaillant rift assemblage. If 2014.32 ± 0.89 Ma dates the rift-to-drift transition and 1882.50 ± 0.95 Ma (revised from 1882 ± 4 Ma) the arrival of the passive margin at the trench bordering the Hottah terrane, the duration of the Coronation passive margin was ∼132 million years, close to the mean age of extinct Phanerozoic passive margins of ∼134 million years (see Bradley 2008).

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