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Minimum age of the Neoproterozoic Seven Hundred Acre Island Formation and the tectonic setting of the Islesboro Formation, Islesboro block, Maine

January 1, 2001

Two plat formal stratigraphic sequences occur on Islesboro, Penobscot Bay, Maine. The older Seven Hundred Acre Island Formation is at least 200 m thick, its base is not exposed, and it makes up fault-bounded blocks of siliceous colour-banded dolomitic marble, muscovite-rich quartzite, coarse-grained splendent muscovite-garnet-staurolite-andalusite schist, and calcareous metapelite, with minor garnet amphibolite and amphibolite. It was initially metamorphosed to lower amphibolite facies and was later retrograded to lower greenschist facies. The lower amphibolite facies metamorphism is Neoproterozoic (670 to 650 Ma) as inferred from the 40Ar/39Ar high temperature release spectra of hornblende separates. A U-Pb zircon age of 646.7 ± 2.7 Ma obtained for a pegmatite that intruded deformed rocks is taken to be the minimum age of the Formation.

The platformal Islesboro Formation probably unconformably overlies the Seven Hundred Acre Island Formation. It is primarily turbiditic pelite with many beds of quartzite, impure dolomitic marble, some conglomerate, and a few feldspar-rich volcaniclastic beds and is thought to be either Neoproterozoic or Cambrian. It was metamorphosed only to lower greenschist facies, possibly in the same event that retrograded the Seven Hundred Acre Island Formation.

Geochemical interpretations of minor and trace element analyses of six amphibolite and four schist samples from the Seven Hundred Acre Island Formation show that the protoliths of the amphibolite samples were intermediate between tholeiitic and within-plate type basaltic flows or dikes that intruded attenuated continental crust, or were eroded from these basalts. Four amphibolite and three schist samples analyzed for Pb isotopes were found to be enriched in radiogenic Pb. The Pb isotopic compositions are similar to those in peri-Gondwanan basement rocks from Atlantic Canada.

The peri-Gondwanan Islesboro block was placed against the peri-Gondwanan Middle and Late Cambrian Ellsworth terrane on the cast by significant Late Silurian strike-slip faulting. The Late Silurian or Early Devonian Turtle Head dextral strike-slip fault separates the Islesboro block from the peri-Gondwanan St. Croix terrane to the west. The timing and nature of the movements of these faults are given from offsets of the isograds around the zircon-dated Laic Silurian Sedgwick Granite (419.5 ± 1.4 Ma) and South Penobscot Intrusive Suite (419.2 ± 2.2 Ma). These terranes and others like them in Atlantic Canada make up a composite terrane that is different from the composite Avalonian terranes sensu stricto of southeastern New England and Atlantic Canada. The composite peri-Gondwanan terrane that included the Islesboro block was amalgamated with the margin of ancestral North America in the Silurian.

Publication Year 2001
Title Minimum age of the Neoproterozoic Seven Hundred Acre Island Formation and the tectonic setting of the Islesboro Formation, Islesboro block, Maine
DOI 10.4138/1971
Authors David B. Stewart, Robert D Tucker, Robert Ayuso, Daniel R. Lux
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Atlantic Geology
Index ID 70023581
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse