Abstract

The Thompson Nickel Belt marks the boundary between the Archean Superior Province and the Trans-Hudson Orogen in Canada. It comprises Archean gneisses, and Paleoproterozoic rocks with metasediments and metavolcanites (Ospwagan Group) and intrusions. The gneisses are frequently migmatitic and host numerous pegmatites. The western belt boundary is a fault contact with the Kisseynew Domain of the Reindeer Zone. In the south, the transition zone between the belt and the Kisseynew Domain comprises granitoids and a detrital sequence (Grass River Group), part of which grades into turbidites in the Kisseynew Domain. The eastern belt boundary is a diffuse zone where the Archean east–west (E–W) structural trend changes into the north-northeast (NNE) trend of the belt. This paper presents U–Pb ages for granitoids and 207Pb/206Pb detrital zircon ages from the Ospwagan and Grass River groups. Ages and a comparison of events in the belt and in the eastern Reindeer Zone have major implications. The change from stable platform deposits to syn-tectonic filling and emplacement of mafic intrusions in the Ospwagan Group are attributed to the convergence between the Reindeer Zone and the Superior Province at 1891–1885 Ma. At ca. 1850 Ma, continuing convergence led to drowning of marginal basins of the Superior craton and to the development of a transpressive regime in the belt, the onset of which could be as old as ca. 1885 Ma. Metamorphic ages of 1818–1785 record closure of the Kisseynew basin and crustal thickening. Collision of the new continental block with the Superior Province was accommodated by transpression until 1750–1720 Ma.

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