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TitleGeology and metallogeny of the Superior Province, Canada
AuthorPercival, J A
SourceMineral deposits of Canada: a synthesis of major deposit-types, district metallogeny, the evolution of geological provinces, and exploration methods; by Goodfellow, W D (ed.); Geological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division, Special Publication no. 5, 2007 p. 903-928
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20070218
PublisherGeological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division (St. John's, NL, Canada)
Mediapaper; DVD; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Goodfellow, W D; (2007). Mineral deposits of Canada: a synthesis of major deposit-types, district metallogeny, the evolution of geological provinces, and exploration methods, Geological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division, Special Publication no. 5
File formatpdf
ProvinceOntario; Quebec; Manitoba
NTS22; 23; 24; 31K; 31L; 31M; 31N; 32; 33; 34; 41I; 41J; 41K; 41N; 41O; 41P; 42; 43; 52; 53; 54A; 54B; 54C; 54D; 54E; 54F; 54G; 62H; 62I; 62P; 63A; 63H; 63I; 63J; 63O; 63P; 64A; 64B; 64G; 64H
Lat/Long WENS-100.0000 -64.0000 63.0000 46.0000
Subjectseconomic geology; stratigraphy; structural geology; metallic minerals; tectonics; bedrock geology; basement geology; mineral deposits; mineral occurrences; mineralization; metallogeny; Archean; igneous rocks; volcanic rocks; plutonic rocks; iron formations; magmatic deposits; Lake Superior type deposits; Lake Superior type iron formations; Superior type iron formations; gold; nickel; platinum; volcanogenic deposits; orogenesis; hydrothermal alteration; hydrothermal deposits; Superior Province; Superior Superterrane; Oxford-Stull Domain; Caribou Superterrane; English River Terrane; Winnipeg River Terrane; Wabigoon Terrane; Quetico Terrane; Wawa Terrane; Kapuskasing Uplift; Abitibi Terrane; Pontiac Terrane; Opatica Subprovince; Ashuanipi Complex; La Grande Subprovince; Bienville Subprovince; Minto Block; Sudbury Structure; Precambrian; Proterozoic
Illustrationssketch maps; stratigraphic sections
ProgramConsolidating Canada's Geoscience Knowledge
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-3), 2005-2010
AbstractThe Superior Province was assembled from continental fragments and intervening tracts of oceanic crust between 2.72 and 2.68 Ga. Continental blocks (Northern Superior, North Caribou, Winnipeg River, Marmion, Minnesota River Valley, Opatica, Goudalie) retain evidence for distinct evolution during the Paleo- and Mesoarchean and little evidence of continental breakup prior to amalgamation. Neoarchean volcano-plutonic rocks of arc affinity dominate oceanic and continent-margin settings, indicating widespread subduction prior to five collisional events between 2.72 and 2.68 Ga. The 3.0 Ga North Caribou superterrane collided with the Northern Superior superterrane between 2.72 and 2.71 Ga on the north and the Winnipeg River terrane to the south, trapping the English River flysch belt between 2.70 and 2.69 Ga. Docking of the juvenile western Wabigoon terrane occurred at a similar time, followed by collision of the Abitibi-Wawa terrane and syntectonic deposition of Quetico turbidites (2.698-2.690 Ga). The northeastern Superior Province east of Hudson and James bays is dominated by 2.78 to 2.69 Ga plutonic rocks emplaced into older crust (3.8-2.83 Ga). Recent discoveries highlight potential for iron-formation-hosted gold and magmatic Ni-PGE mineralization. Common magmatic and tectonic events are recognized in the northeastern and northwestern Superior, although domains and boundaries have not been correlated.

With the exception of Ni, Cr, Cu, PGE, and Ti deposits hosted by mafic-ultramafic intrusions (2.76-2.74 Ga), major mineral deposits of the Superior Province formed during the arc magmatic and collisional stages of orogenesis. Volcanogenic massive sulphide and rare gold deposits occur in 2.735 to 2.70 Ga calc-alkaline sequences, in back-arc or rifted arc settings. Orogenic lode-gold deposits formed along major and minor structures in greenstone belts and associated plutons during regional deformation between 2.71 and 2.68 Ga. Additional gold mineralization, sporadic rare metal pegmatites, and some hydrothermal deposits were formed between 2.68 and 2.60 Ga during widespread late hydrothermal activity. The occurrence of ancient (to 3.8 Ga) crust in the northern Superior Province may signal diamond potential but it remains uncertain whether cool lithosphere survived intense Neoarchean reworking.