Abstract

Exceptionally clear images of crustal structure of the Canadian Shield that underlies the western Canada sedimentary basin beneath 3.5–2.2 km of Phanerozoic sedimentary strata have been obtained on a seismic-reflection profile acquired by Lithoprobe. The profile crosses tectonic domains of central Alberta and delineates a major buried orogenic belt of Paleoproterozoic (∼1.8 Ga) age associated with crustal scale thrust imbrication and deflections in the crust-mantle boundary. Available geochronologic data suggest that crustal imbrication observed in the Alberta basement was coeval with that documented in the Trans-Hudson orogen to the east (1.80–1.83 Ga) and implies that a large region of continental crust, extending >1000 km from the western Superior province to the Snowbird tectonic zone, underwent considerable shortening during assembly of this part of the Canadian Shield.

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