Preliminary investigation of a major high-strain zone in the Caledonian Highlands, southern New Brunswick

Adrian F. Park, Sandra M. Barr, Chris E. White
2008 Atlantic geology  
A major ductile high-strain zone up to 5 km in width can be traced for at least 70 km diagonally across the Avalonian Caledonia terrane of southern New Brunswick. A study of the northeastern part of this zone from the Prosser Mountain area in the northwest to the Point Wolfe River area west of Fundy National Park shows that both the ca. 630-620 Ma Broad River Group and associated plutons and the 560-550 Ma Coldbrook Group contain similar structural elements, related to a largely shared
more » ... ely shared deformational history. Some of this history is apparent also in the 560-550 Ma plutonic rocks. A pervasive foliation (S 1 ) lies parallel to bedding (S 0 ), and although evidently composite (S 0-1 ) in the Broad River Group, this fabric is very heterogeneous in the younger Coldbrook Group, where low strain enclaves are widespread. No folds have been seen of an F 1 generation, and no reversals of facing or vergence are apparent. A mineral lineation (L 1 m ) is locally prominent, defined by biotite aggregates. The plutonic rocks have fabrics that developed during and soon after crystallization, including a foliation (S 1 ) producing augen-gneiss with a prominent L-tectonite (L 1 m ). S 1 in the plutonic rocks also includes a schistosity associated with the growth of white mica and breakdown of feldspar. Geometry suggests that S 1 in the granites is related to S 0-1 in the supracrustal rocks, and the mineral lineation (L 1 m ) in both units shares a common orientation. S 1 and S 0-1 are crenulated by a strong second cleavage (S 2 ) axial planar to folds (F 2 ), the large-scale expression of which is an asymmetric synform containing a belt of Coldbrook Group rocks. Kinematic indicators for F 2 structures suggest an overall top-to-the-southeast motion along thrusts that stack units of Broad River Group, Coldbrook Group, and plutonic rocks. Fabric development in the older plutonic rocks implies a history of exhumation beginning under hot, anhydrous conditions during and soon after crystallization at ca. 620 Ma, followed by hydration during retrogression as plutonic rocks were tectonically emplaced into this crustal stack. The age of the later tectonic events is not yet well constrained, but could be as late as Carboniferous. park et al -... a major high-strain zone in the Caledonian Highlands, southern New Brunswick les roches plutoniques plus âgées suppose une exhumation passée ayant commencé dans des conditions très chaudes et anhydres pendant et peu après la cristallisation, vers 620 Ma, suivie par une hydratation pendant la rétrogression au moment où les roches plutoniques se sont tectoniquement mises en place à l'intérieur de cet éperon crustal. L'âge des événements tectoniques tardifs n'est pas encore bien circonscrit, mais ils pourraient remonter au Carbonifère. [Traduit par la redaction]
doi:10.4138/9717 fatcat:skn5ktz4hzehtehdomazfnquwi