Abstract

To properly understand the tectonic history of the Grenville Province it is necessary to have a reliable, scientifically based understanding of the present-day three-dimensional (3D) structure of the orogen. Based on detailed Nd isotope mapping of surface boundaries and Lithoprobe seismic sections, this study provides the first detailed visualization of the 3D structure of the Grenville gneiss belt in Ontario using the SketchUp software package. The 3D visualization supports a model in which thrust geometry was imposed from the top downwards, controlled by the NW boundary of the Central Metasedimentary Belt that originated as a failed back-arc rift zone. The Central Metasedimentary Belt boundary controlled the trajectory of the Allochthon Boundary Thrust, its underlying tectonic duplex and, ultimately, the Grenville Front. This process of superimposed thrusting explains the large-scale change in the trajectory of the Grenville Front north of Georgian Bay that has been called the ‘Big Bend’. To assist in visualizing the 3D model, a fly-through animation is provided in the supplementary material.

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