Abstract

A narrow belt of Late Ordovician-Early Silurian blueschist, at least 70 km long, separates an afochthonous fragment of back-arc oceanic crust of the Middle Ordovician Fournier Group from underlying, rift-related volcanic rocks of the Middle Ordovician Tetagouche Group in northern New Brunswick, Canada. The basalts on both sides of the blueschist belt are predominantly metamorphosed to greenschist facies conditions. The blueschist belt is interpreted to be an out-of-sequence thrust zone that accommodated tectonic transport of higher pressure rocks on top of lower pressure rocks during post-peak blueschist facies metamorphism. The blueschists have higher FeO/FeO ratios and total iron contents in comparison to otherwise chemically equivalent basalts of the Fournier and Tetagouche Groups that have been metamorphosed into greenschists. The blueschist belt was probably the site of channelized flow of oxidizing fluids during active deformation in a subduction complex formed during the closure of a wide Taconic back-arc basin in Late Ordovician-Silurian time.

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