Abstract

Upper Ordovician–Lower Devonian strata of the Meguma terrane in the Canadian Appalachians contain zircon populations, including an important Mesoproterozoic zircon population (1.0–1.4 Ga), similar to those in coeval strata of Avalonia, and strongly suggest contiguous rather than discrete histories for these terranes throughout the Paleozoic. That these terranes were juxtaposed throughout the early Paleozoic is indicated by the absence of a Cambrian–Ordovician accretionary event, the lack of intervening suture-zone ophio litic units, and the similarity of Avalonian and Meguma basement Nd isotope signatures in early Paleozoic igneous suites. As Avalonia had accreted to Laurentia-Baltica by the Early Silurian, these data suggest that the Meguma terrane, like Avalonia, resided along the same (northern) margin of the Rheic Ocean at that time. These conclusions have implications for reconstructions of the northern Gondwanan margin in the early Paleozoic and imply that the Silurian–Devonian Acadian orogeny in Maritime Canada occurred in an Andean-type setting and was not related to collision of the Meguma terrane with the Laurentian margin.

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