Abstract

The Moreton’s Harbour Group lies along the Red Indian Line, the fundamental Iapetus suture that separates rocks of peri-Laurentian affinity with rocks of peri-Gondwanan affinity in the Newfoundland Appalachians. Characterization of age and environment of formation of the Moreton’s Harbour Group is an important constraint on evolution of the Laurentian margin during Ordovician closure of Iapetus Ocean and associated marginal basins. The Moreton’s Harbour Group comprises a fault-bounded ophiolitic sequence of layered gabbro, sheeted diabase, pillow basalt, and felsic intrusive rocks. It is offset by high-angle shear zones that were contemporaneous with a 477.4 ± 0.4 Ma syn-tectonic and syn-magmatic suite of trondhjemite and tonalite. Trace element data from the felsic suite indicate formation in a supra-subduction zone setting, although isotopic data from the felsic intrusive rocks (εNd (–5.02) to (–10.53), Tdm 1200–1800 Ma) indicate a significant amount of contamination from Mesoproterozoic or older continental crust. The age and tectonic setting of the Moreton’s Harbour Group suggest that it is the northernmost extent of the ca. 480 Ma Annieopsquotch Ophiolite Belt. We present a model in which the Moreton’s Harbour Group formed in response to propagation of the Annieopsquotch Ophiolite Belt spreading centre into the Dashwoods microcontinent. This ridge propagation model supports the formation of the Annieopsquotch Ophiolite Belt immediately outboard of Dashwoods and explains its rapid accretion to the composite Laurentian margin.

You do not currently have access to this article.