Abstract

A 6650-m thickness of volcanic rocks at Lake St. Joseph is here interpreted as an Archaean composite strato-volcano. Despite severe deformation, primary mesoscopic fabrics are well-preserved. They permit the inference of a physical eruptive history, to which the chemistry can be related.The lowermost 2700-m of flows, pillow breccias, and autobreccias are exclusively basaltic, and indicate quiet, probably semi-continuous activity. Interruption of this activity is shown by an intraformational conglomerate developed on a metadiorite, which has thermally metamorphosed argillite lenses intercalated with the flows. Subsequently, activity became more episodic and violent, yielding, first, 750-m of mixed flows and fragmental rocks, substantially andesitic; and then 3200-m of fragmental rocks, substantially salic. Basaltic dikes ramify through the volcanic pile. Several rhyolitic or dacitic flows are regarded as flank eruptions.Generally, these volcanic rocks have trends somewhat similar to trends for other Archaean volcanics. However, there is an iron enrichment trend which we suggest indicates an initially low pO2 increasing as the volcano ages. This increase may indicate an increase in total gas pressure, compatible with the change from quiet to violent eruptive mode.

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