Southwest Newfoundland consists of a mosaic of subzones or terranes recognized by distinctive lithostratigraphy, plutonism, and metamorphism. Subzone boundaries trending east-west exhibit north-over-south thrusting, but northeast-trending boundaries exhibit sinistral transcurrent motion. The pattern suggests sinistral shear around a promontory of late Precambrian rocks on the south shore of the island, and so terranes to the north were thrust southwest, and low-angle thrusts form the lobate boundaries of southern Newfoundland. Radiometric dating suggests a Silurian age for shearing, but sense of shear reversed before Carboniferous time.

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