Hydrochronology of a proposed deep geological repository for low-and intermediate-level nuclear waste in southern Ontario from U–Pb dating of secondary minerals: Response to silurian and cretaceous events

D. W. Davis, C. N. Sutcliffe, A. M. Thibodeau, J. Spalding, D. Schneider, A. Cruden, J. Adams, A. Parmenter, M. Jensen, Z. Zajacz

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8 Citations (Scopus)


A record of fluid flow has been documented within a Paleozoic carbonate platform sequence by U–Pb dating of calcite in veins and vugs from rock core sampled through a shallowly dipping sequence of sedimentary rocks beneath the Bruce nuclear site, Ontario, Canada. Secondary calcite from >650 m deep Ordovician carbonate rocks yields a Silurian age of 434 ± 5 Ma possibly related to infiltration of seawater from overlying evaporitic basins as well as hydrothermal solutions that infiltrated from below. In contrast, near-surface Devonian rocks mostly give vein infill ages over the range of 80–100 Ma with evidence for younger infill down to 50 Ma. Vein calcite samples previously dated from surface outcrops of Ordovician carbonate exposed up to 500 km to the east yielded similar U–Pb ages. Coincidence of near-surface vein calcite ages indicates widespread vein emplacement synchronous with a change in direction of motion of the North American plate as well as possible erosional unroofing following passage of the region over the Great Meteor hotspot approximately 125 Myr ago. Deeper carbonate formations have remained apparently impermeable to post-Paleozoic disturbance despite these perturbations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-476
Number of pages13
JournalCanadian Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Deep geological repository
  • Great Meteor hotspot
  • Hydrochronology
  • Southern Ontario carbonate platform
  • U-Pb calcite dating

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