Petrological modeling and geochronology (Lu–Hf garnet, U–Pb monazite, zircon, and titanite) for seven mid-amphibolite to granulite-facies metamorphic rocks in the Thelon tectonic zone (Ttz) provide new insights into the evolution of this orogen. A Grt-Sp-Sil diatexite records 2.01–2.00 Ga garnet and monazite growth during >830 °C contact metamorphism associated with voluminous convergent margin plutonism. The most widespread, 1.96–1.90 Ga metamorphism is associated with clockwise pressure (P)–temperature (T) paths, indicating it was driven by crustal thickening. Earlier (1.96–1.92 Ga) and lower temperature (630 °C–730 °C; 6–8 kbar) metamorphism in the eastern Slave craton contrast with ∼860 °C (7.5 kbar), 1.91–1.90 Ga diatexites in the central, Paleoproterozoic plutonic rock-dominated, core of the Ttz. These differences are interpreted to reflect lower vs. upper plate settings, respectively. A contribution of mantle heat is suggested by the counter-clockwise P–T path and 885 °C (5.7 kbar) conditions recorded by diatexite associated with c. 1.9 Ga peraluminous leucogranite that dominates a corridor along the Ttz–Rae craton boundary. A tectonic model is proposed wherein the Ttz evolved at an accretionary margin after rifting of Ttz microcontinent (mTtz) off the Rae craton at c. 2.2–2.1 Ga. Voluminous plutonism at 2.01–1.98 Ga formed via east-dipping subduction under mTtz. Following 1.97 Ga collision of the Slave craton and mTtz, west-dipping subduction generated 1.96–1.95 Ga plutonism in the composite mTtz-Slave upper plate. Collision of Rae craton at 1.95–1.94 Ga led to crustal thickening, widespread 1.91–1.90 Ga high-grade metamorphism and extensive crustal melting in the central Ttz.

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