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Archean Tectonic Setting of Granulite Terranes of the Superior Province, Canada: A View from the Bottom

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Granulites and Crustal Evolution

Part of the book series: NATO ASI Series ((ASIC,volume 311))

Abstract

At least 12 granulite occurrences, ranging in size from a few 10’s to 250,000 km2, are exposed in the Archean Superior Province. Primary lithotectonic subdivision of the Superior Province into linear volcano-plutonic and metasedimentary gneiss belts has led to interpretation of these components as magmatic arcs and accretionary prisms respectively, assembled in the interval between 2750 and 2690 Ma ago based on precise U-Pb geochronology. The granulites have lithological, structural, metamorphic and geochronological attributes consistent with their host terrane type. In the metasedimentary belts (English River, Quetico, Ashuanipi), structurally contiguous granulites have sedimentary protoliths deposited after 2.7 Ga, deformed and metamorphosed to relatively low (4–6 kb) pressures prior to intrusion by peraluminous granitoid plutons at 2.67 Ga. Regional uplift to expose rocks ranging in grade from greenschist to granulite probably followed directly on metamorphism. In the volcano-plutonic belts (Sachigo, Abitibi-Wawa), metamorphic grade is uniformly greenschist to amphibolite, except where uplift along Proterozoic faults has exposed oblique cross sections from greenschist-facies rocks metamorphosed at 3 kb to granulites recording 7–10 kb pressures. Similar granulites, with complex P-T-t history, probably occupy the lower 25–35 km of volcano-plutonic crust, where they may have been the source for tonalitic rocks that constitute much of the middle crust. In both settings, granulite metamorphism is an integral, late component of crustal accretionary processes. Rare granulites with cratonic protoliths predating the metamorphism by at least 300 Ma, recognized in the Minnesota River Valley and Winnipeg River subprovinces, may result from involvement of microcontinents in the accretionary process.

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© 1990 Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Percival, J.A. (1990). Archean Tectonic Setting of Granulite Terranes of the Superior Province, Canada: A View from the Bottom. In: Vielzeuf, D., Vidal, P. (eds) Granulites and Crustal Evolution. NATO ASI Series, vol 311. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-2055-2_10

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-2055-2_10

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