Abstract

The Late Ordovician–Early Silurian Brunswick subduction complex in northern New Brunswick preserves a nearly intact southeast-facing forearc terrane with clear links among Silurian subduction, under-plating, exhumation, and forearc sedimentation. The forearc terrane grew over time due to successive accretion and underplating of seamounts and isolated ribbons made up of continental and transitional crust concomitant with foreland migration of the trench. A sliver of strongly deformed epidote-blueschists derived from an accreted seamount was stacked together with slightly lower-pressure winchite-bearing tectonites and medium- to high-pressure greenschists of the Fournier, California Lake, and Tetagouche blocks into a series of D1 metamorphic nappes during Salinic closure of the Tetagouche-Exploits backarc basin. The blueschists (~375 °C, 7.2 kbar) locally preserve mineralogical (zoning from actinolite or barroisite core to a rim of glaucophane) and microstructural evidence for a counterclockwise pressure-temperature (P-T) path ascribed to underthrusting beneath the young oceanic lithosphere of the Fournier block shortly after the inception of subduction at ca. 450 Ma. The next phase of accretion is represented by underplating of the California Lake block at ca. 442 Ma. This may have caused emplacement of the blueschists above the slightly lower metamorphic grade Canoe Landing Lake winchite-bearing nappe (350 °C, 6.5 kbar). Underplating of the Tetagouche block at ca. 435 Ma extruded the blueschist sliver and underlying nappes of the California Lake block immediately above greenschist-facies nappes (~5.8 kbar) and beneath lower-pressure (4–5 kbar) greenschist-facies basalt and gabbro of the ophiolitic Fournier block, which was deformed and imbricated earlier, probably during accretion of the California Lake block. Shear sense indicators confirm that the hanging-wall shear zone of the blue-schist sliver accommodated Early Silurian normal motion. D1 is generally time-trans-gressive due to down-stepping of the under-plating-related deformation. Metamorphic relicts, as well as zoning in amphibole and epidote, indicate that the Canoe Landing Lake and other nappes underwent clockwise P-T paths related to subduction of the cool oceanic lithosphere and/or accretion of the California Lake and Tetagouche blocks.

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