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Stratigraphy and depositional setting of the Silurian-Devonian Rockville Notch Group, Meguma terrane, Nova Scotia, Canada

Chris E. White, Sandra M. Barr

Abstract


 

The Silurian–Devonian Rockville Notch Group occurs in five separate areas along the northwestern margin of the Meguma terrane of southern Nova Scotia. In each area, the lowermost unit of the group is the White Rock Formation, which unconformably overlies the Lower Ordovician Halifax Group. Early Silurian U–Pb (zircon) dates from metavolcanic rocks in the White Rock Formation indicate that the unconformity represents a depositional gap of about 25 Ma. The U–Pb ages are consistent with early Silurian (Llandovery) trace fossils and sparse shelly faunas in metasedimentary rocks interlayered with the metavolcanic rocks. The metasedimentary rocks locally contain phosphatic ironstone and Mn-rich beds, and are overlain by mainly metasiltstone with abundant quartzite and metaconglomerate lenses. Some of the latter were previously interpreted to be Ordovician tillite. The White Rock Formation is conformably overlain by the slate- and metasiltstone-dominated Kentville Formation, which contains Upper Wenlock to Pridoli graptolites and microfossils. The overlying Torbrook Formation consists of metalimestone, metasandstone and metasiltstone, interbedded with phosphatic ironstone and minor mafic metatuff, and contains Pridoli to early Emsian fossils. It is in part laterally equivalent to the New Canaan Formation in the Wolfville area, which is dominated by slate, pillowed mafic metavolcanic rocks and fossiliferous metalimestone. Volcanic rocks in the Rockville Notch Group are alkalic and formed in a within-plate setting, probably related to extension as the Meguma terrane rifted from Gondwana. This process may have occurred in two stages, Early Silurian and Early Devonian, separated by a hiatus in volcanic activity. Stratigraphic differences suggest that the Meguma terrane was not adjacent to Avalonia before emplacement of the South Mountain Batholith.


Keywords


Stratigraphy; Silurian-Devonian; Paleontology; Geochemistry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4138/atlgeol.2017.015