Abstract

New field and U–Pb zircon data from the south-central Wopmay Orogen (south of 65°N) establish crystallization ages of basement and plutonic phases and bring to the forefront questions on the architecture of the orogen. The complex and extensive >3300–2575 Ma basement domain was derived from the adjacent Slave craton. Paleoproterozoic supracrustal rocks, dominated by an extensive pelitic–psammitic sequence with basal arenite, conglomerate, and carbonate, unconformably overlie this basement. Pre- to post-kinematic Paleoproterozoic plutons intrude both basement and overlying strata and crystallized at 1877, 1867–1862, and 1858–1850 Ma. The first pulse of plutonism constrains an early generation of metamorphism and deformation to younger than 1877 Ma and is corroborated by metamorphic zircon in Archean basement. The interval from 1867 to 1862 Ma brackets ductile deformation in granite and granodiorite intrusions; although corresponding structure in the metasedimentary strata is equivocal. Post-kinematic ca. 1858–1850 Ma plutons were coeval with localized high-grade metamorphism and concomitant recrystallization of Archean basement. The absence of older (>1880 Ma) phases of the Hepburn intrusive suite in south-central Wopmay Orogen demonstrates a previously unrecognized north–south plutonic dichotomy and that the historical assignment of Calderian metamorphism to ca. 1885 Ma may be too old. The designation of part of the area to a klippe of Hottah terrane is not compatible with field and zircon age data which shows that basement and the overlying strata can be tied directly to the Slave craton. The study raises questions regarding the tectonic relationship between the Hottah terrane and Slave craton.

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