Abstract

The Penobscot arc system of the northeastern Appalachians is an Early Cambrian to early Tremadocian (ca. 514–485 Ma) ensialic to ensimatic arc–back-arc complex that developed along the margin of the peri-Gondwanan microcontinent Ganderia. Remnants of this Paleozoic arc system are best preserved in the Exploits Subzone of central Newfoundland. Correlative rocks in southern New Brunswick are thought to occur in the ca. 514 Ma Mosquito Lake Road Formation of the Ellsworth Group and ca. 497–493 Ma Annidale Group; however in the past, the work that has been conducted on the latter has been of a preliminary nature. New data bearing on the age and tectonic setting of the Annidale Group provides more conclusive evidence for this correlation. The Annidale Group contains subalkaline, tholeiitic to transitional, basalts to basaltic andesites, picritic tuffs and calc-alkaline to tholeiitic felsic dome complexes that have geochemical signatures consistent with suprasubduction zone magmatism that was likely generated in a back-arc basin. New U–Pb ages establish that the Late Cambrian to Early Tremadocian Annidale Group and adjacent ca. 541 Ma volcanic rocks of the Belleisle Bay Group in the New River belt were affected by a period of younger magmatism ranging in age from ca. 479–467 Ma. This provides important constraints on the timing of tectonism in the area. A ca. 479 Ma age for the Stewarton Gabbro that stitches the faulted contact between the Annidale and Belleisle Bay groups, demonstrates that structural interleaving and juxtaposition occurred during early Tremadocian time, which closely coincides with the timing of obduction of Penobscottian back-arc ophiolites onto the Ganderian margin in Newfoundland.

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