Resistivity structure of the Precambrian Grenville Province, Canada

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Adetunji, Ademola Quadri
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As part of the southern Ontario POLARIS project, this thesis uses magnetotelluric methods to investigate the lithospheric architecture of the Proterozoic Grenville Province and its margin with the Archean Superior Province. The first multi-dimensional crustal and lithospheric resistivity images for this region are presented. The resistivity structure of the Phanerozoic sedimentary rocks in the lower Great Lakes region was determined using 1-D methods. The responses are strongly affected by a 20-23 S conductive layer within the sedimentary rocks, interpreted to be associated with Upper Ordovician shale units. This layer excludes resolution of resistivity structure of underlying crust. The resistivity structure of the Precambrian crust and lithosphere was determined using 2-D methods. Different strike azimuths were determined for the crust, the upper lithospheric mantle and the deeper mantle layer. The crustal resistivity model for a profile from 50oN79oW to 43oN76oW images resistive Laurentian margin rocks dipping southeast to the base of the crust, bounded by the Grenville Front and the Central Metasedimentary Belt Boundary Zone. In a 2-D model of the mantle lithosphere for the same profile, a conductor at 70-150 km depth, located along-strike from the Mesozoic Kirkland Lake and Cobalt kimberlite fields, is interpreted to be due to mantle re-fertilization. Results from multiple MT profiles indicate conductive (<10 Ω.m) lithospheric mantle beneath the Central Metasedimentary Belt and show that the northwestern Grenville Province is characterized by large-scale, resistive lithosphere (>10,000 Ω.m) extending for about 300 km beneath the Grenville Province and 800 km along strike. Lithospheric thickness is interpreted to be 280 km; local decreases in this depth are attributed to refertilization of the lower mantle lithosphere by fluids associated with Cretaceous kimberlite magmatism. Anisotropic 2-D modeling reveals minimal electrical anisotropy (<10%) at mantle depths in contrast to the factor of 15 anisotropy determined in earlier 1-D studies. This result suggests that observed MT response anisotropy is caused by large-scale structures. Strike direction in the upper lithospheric mantle is interpreted to be related to the Archean fabric of the Superior craton and in the deeper, conductive, mantle it is interpreted to have been established in the Cretaceous.
Magnetotellurics, Resistivity, Lithosphere, Anisotropy
Adetunji, A.Q., Ferguson, I.J., Jones, A.G., 2014. Crustal and lithospheric scale structures of the Precambrian Superior-Grenville margin. Tectonophysics 614, 146-169,