Abstract

The NE-trending Malley dyke swarm, dated herein at 2231 ± 2 Ma (U–Pb baddeleyite), extends from the central Slave craton to the vicinity of the Kilohigok basin, and may continue farther to the northeast as the geochemically similar Brichta dyke swarm, having been offset sinistrally along the prominent Bathurst fault. It carries a characteristic high unblocking temperature paleomagnetic component of single polarity directed up SE (mean direction: D = 138.3°, I = –53.8°), with corresponding paleopole at 50.8°S, 50.0°W. Lower unblocking temperature components, in some cases directed down SE, similar to ca 1.75 Ga post-Hudsonian overprints, are easily removed using combined alternating field (AF) thermal demagnetization, but difficult to remove using AF cleaning alone. The characteristic remanence has not been demonstrated primary, but is significantly older than 2.03 Ga, the age of Lac de Gras dykes, based on a baked contact test at a Lac de Gras – Malley dyke intersection. In addition, an E- to ESE-trending dyke carries a down WNW remanence, typical of 2.19 Ga Dogrib dykes near Yellowknife, suggesting that regional overprinting has not affected the study area since Dogrib emplacement, and that the Malley remanence was acquired at or shortly after Malley emplacement. Comparing Malley and Lac de Gras paleopoles with the 2.22–2.00 Ga Superior craton apparent polar wander path indicates that the two cratons were (i) not in their present relative orientation at 2.23 or 2.03 Ga, and (ii) likely not drifting in close proximity to one another as parts of a single (super)continent throughout the 2.23–2.03 Ga interval.

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