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Stratigraphy, geochemistry, and depositional environments of Mesoarchean sedimentary units in western Superior Province; implications for generation of early crust

Philip Fralick, Pete Hollings and David King
Stratigraphy, geochemistry, and depositional environments of Mesoarchean sedimentary units in western Superior Province; implications for generation of early crust (in When did plate tectonics begin on planet Earth?, Kent C. Condie (editor) and Victoria Pease (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2008) 440: 77-96

Abstract

The Steep Rock Group, Little Falls assemblage, Finlayson greenstone belt, and Lumby Lake greenstone belt from a once-continuous Mesoarchean terrane at the southern margin of Wabigoon subprovince, Canadian Shield. Synchronous with eruptive activity, oceanic plateau basalts in this region were intruded by tonalitic batholiths, which fed intermediate to felsic volcanic cones and associated mass-flow sediment aprons. A sedimentary succession capping the volcanic pile records stream-induced channel incision into upraised basalt and tonalite, feeding sediment to a delta complex. Base-level rise caused the incised, channels to backfill, stromatolitic carbonates to develop in shallow-marine areas, and finally, deposition of iron formation to dominate. A Mesoarchean terrane was also examined in the Wallace Lake area of Manitoba. Here a kilometer-thick, transgressive succession records a transition from fluvial to delta-front to prodelta turbiditic environments, with eventual drowning and siliciclastic sediment starvation leading to dominance by carbonate and iron formation deposition. Sedimentary rocks that cap the oceanic Cretaceous to Holocene Kerguelen Plateau are a direct analogue for the depositional environments, sediment source rocks, and drowning events that define the stratigraphy of the Mesoarchean successions studied here. The Steep Rock-Lumby oceanic plateau formed and actively grew during an interval of 230 m.y. This sequence produces serious problems for Mesoarchean tectonic models in which increased heat dissipation produces fast spreading or numerous spreading ridges. A Mesoarchean, mantle plume-dominated heat dissipation process is in much better agreement with the data presented here.


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 440
Title: Stratigraphy, geochemistry, and depositional environments of Mesoarchean sedimentary units in western Superior Province; implications for generation of early crust
Title: When did plate tectonics begin on planet Earth?
Author(s): Fralick, PhilipHollings, PeteKing, David
Author(s): Condie, Kent C.editor
Author(s): Pease, Victoriaeditor
Affiliation: Lakehead University, Department of Geology, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Affiliation: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Socorro, NM, United States
Pages: 77-96
Published: 2008
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
Meeting name: Penrose Conference
Meeting location: Lander, WY, USA, United States
Meeting date: 20060613June 14-18, 2006
References: 70
Accession Number: 2008-124315
Categories: StratigraphySolid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch map, sect., 2 tables, block diag.
N46°00'00" - N61°40'00", W99°00'00" - W66°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Stockholm University, SWE, Sweden
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200848
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