The Central Metasedimentary Belt boundary zone (CMBbz) is a crustal-scale shear zone that juxtaposes the Central Gneiss Belt and the Central Metasedimentary Belt of the Grenville Province. Geochronological work on the timing of deformation and metamorphism in the CMBbz is ambiguous, and the questions that motivate our study are: how many episodes of shear zone activity did the CMBbz experience, and what is the tectonic significance of each episode? We present electron microprobe data from monazite (the U–Th–Pb chemical method) to directly date deformation and metamorphism recorded in five garnet–biotite gneiss samples collected from three localities of the CMBbz of Ontario (West Guilford, Fishtail Lake, and Killaloe). All three localities yield youngest monazite dates ca. 1045 Ma; most of the monazite domains that yield these dates are high-Y rims. In comparison with this common late Ottawan history, the earlier history of the three CMBbz localities is less clearly shared. The West Guilford samples have monazite grain cores that show older high-Y domains and younger low-Y domains; these cores yield a prograde early Ottawan (1100–1075 Ma) history. The Killaloe samples yield a well-defined prograde, pre- to early Shawinigan history (i.e., 1220–1160 Ma) in addition to some evidence for a second early Ottawan event. In other words, the answers to our research questions are: three events; a Shawinigan event possibly associated with crustal thickening, an Ottawan event possibly associated with another round of crustal thickening, and a late Ottawan event that resists simple interpretation in terms of metamorphic history but that coincides chronologically with crustal thinning at the base of an orogenic lid.

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