Integrated potential-field and seismic constraints on the structure of the Archean metasedimentary English River belt, Western Superior craton, Canada

B Nitescu, Alexander Cruden, R Bailey

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The English River Subprovince is a prominent belt of metasedimentary rocks in the Archean Western Superior Province. The structure of its western half was investigated by using techniques of enhancement and automatic interpretation of magnetic data, and integration of magnetic-derived information with seismic and gravity data. The results indicate that a suite of exposed felsic plutons that intruded the belt at ca. 2698 Ma extends under most of the metasedimentary rocks that are exposed at the surface. The thickness of the metasedimentary rocks is interpreted to be less than I km in areas where it is underlain by the members of this intrusive suite. In other areas, the metasedimentary rocks attain thicknesses of 3-4 km and appear to be underlain by rocks similar to the gneissic rocks that are exposed in the adjacent metaplutonic Winnipeg River Subprovince. The integration of enhanced magnetic data with gravity data indicates that the large gravity anomaly that extends along the English River belt correlates well spatially and morphologically with the extensive suite of felsic intrusions that underlies the belt, suggesting that the crustal component of the gravity anomaly is related to this suite of intrusions. We interpret the source of the gravity anomaly as a dense unit comprising anhydrous mineral assemblages that formed within these felsic intrusions in response to low-pressure, high-temperature metamorphism that affected the belt at ca. 2691 Ma. On the basis of geochronological, geological and geophysical constraints, we propose that this metamorphic episode is linked to the continuation of magmatism at depth after the emplacement of the ca. 2698 Ma felsic plutons, being ultimately related to the advection of mantle heat into the crust during a period of regional extension. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261 - 277
Number of pages17
JournalPrecambrian Research
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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