More by Rodney C. Johnson
he Great Lakes tectonic zone (GLTZ) is a Late Archean crustal boundary (paleosuture) at least 1,200 kilometers long that juxtaposes a Late Archean greenstone-granite terrane (Wawa subprovince of Superior province) on the north and an Early to Late Archean gneiss terrane (Minnesota River Valley subprovince) on the south. Recent mapping of an exposed seg- ment in the Marquette, Michigan, area provides new data on the vergence of the structure. These data necessitate reexami- nation of the COCORP seismic-reflection profiling in central Minnesota, which has been the principal basis for past views on the vergence of the GLTZ. In the Marquette area, the GLTZ is a northwest-striking mylonite zone about 2.3 kilometers wide that is superposed on previously deformed rocks of both Archean terranes. Shear zone walls strike N. 55°-60° W., and foliation in mylonite within the GLTZ strikes (average) N. 70° W. and dips 75° SW. A stretching lineation plunges 42° in a S. 43° E. direction. Hinges of tight to open (sheath?) folds of both Z- and S-symmetries plunge parallel to the lineation. The attitude of the lineation (line of tectonic transport and X finite strain axis), together with asymmetric kinematic indicators, indicates that collision at this locality was oblique; the collision resulted in dextral- thrust shear along the boundary, northwestward vergence, and overriding of the greenstone-granite terrane by the gneiss terrane. In contrast, the seismic-reflection profiling in central Minnesota has been interpreted by several investigators to indicate that the GLTZ is a shallowly north dipping (=30°) structure, which implies southward vergence on a north-dipping subduction zone. We suggest, alternatively, that the shallow- dipping reflectors in the seismic profiles indicate lithologic contacts related to recumbent and gently inclined folds (D1), perhaps enhanced by ductile deformation zones, and that the Morris fault is indeed the GLTZ. The Morris fault strikes about N. 70° E., dips steeply southeastward, is transparent in seismic profiles, appears to be narrow, and coincides with the inferred position of the GLTZ as shown on earlier maps. The oblique collision along northwest-trending segments of the GLTZ would be expected to produce dextral transpression across a large region north of the GLTZ, and may have produced an early nappe-forming event (D1) as well as younger upright folds (D2), and as a later, more brittle event, the numerous dextral faults and conjugate sinistral faults that are widespread in the Wawa and adjacent subprovinces.
The Felch and Calumet troughs area of northern Michigan is part of the Penokean fold-thrust belt of the continental foreland of the Superior craton. The area lies immediately north of the Niagara fault zone, the north-verging suture between the continental foreland and the Early Proterozoic Wisconsin magmatic terranes to the south. Accretion of the magmatic terranes to the continental margin approximately equals 1,850 Ma produced south-verging backthrusting and backfolding in this region involving both Archean basement and Early Proterozoic supracrustal strata. Evidence for backthrusting exists throughoutthe Felch and Calumet troughs area. The backthrusting is characterized by southward-overturned bedding and small-scale, south-verging asymmetric folds with a subhorizontal axial-planar foliation. The Carney Lake Archean block appears to be a crystalline-core nappe wherein the Sturgeon Quartzite of the Chocolay Group forms the lower overturned limb. The deformation probably started as a north-verging foreland thrust event, but out-of- sequence south-verging backthrusts and backfolds developed to accommodate abrupt changes in crustal thickness along the continental margin. The backthrusting in the Penokean orogen resembles that in the younger rocks of the southern Alps. Proceeding inward from the continental margin, both orogens have accreted oceanic crust, indicated by the presence of ophiolite, that is thrust onto the continental margin; a zone of thick-skinned complex deformation characterized by backthrusting and backfolding; a marginal basement arch; and, inboard of the arch, a fold-thrust belt that mainly involves thin-skinned deformation.
The south half of the Ishpeming greenstone belt is domi- nated by a thick succession of subaqueously erupted volcanic rocks. A regional structural interpretation of the belt provides a framework for placing this succession in a stratigraphic order. The south half of the Ishpeming greenstone belt preserves the remnants of overlapping subaqueous volcanic complexes within an arc system. The Kitchi Formation, as redefined herein, comprises the lower half of the volcanic succession and is subdivided into three informal units. The basal basalt flow unit is composed of pillowed, tholeiitic, basalt flows and minor banded iron-formation and dacitic tuff. It is overlain by the second and third units, which are tuff and lahar (volcanic debris flow) units that inter- finger with one another. These units range in composition from calc-alkalic basalt to dacite. The Kitchi Formation represents an evolving tholeiitic, mafic shield to calc-alkalic, mafic to felsic subaqueous volcano. The Mona Formation, which is redefined herein, is in structural contact with the Kitchi Formation, but is likely younger. It is subdivided into three informal units. The base consists of a basalt flow unit, which is composed of pillowed, tholeiitic to magnesium-rich basalt flows and minor amounts of banded iron-formation and tuff. The basalt is overlain by a calc-alkalic dacite to rhyolite lapilli-tuff unit and a laterally continuous upper tuff unit of calc-alkalic basalt to andesite. The Mona Formation represents an evolving tholeiitic, mafic shield to mafic-felsic calc-alkalic, mafic to felsic subaqueous volcano. The Deer Lake Peridotite, an ultramafic sill complex that intrudes the Kitchi Formation, is speculatively interpreted as a subvolcanic ultramafic komatiite base of the Mona Formation.