Nd-isotope evolution of Archaean plutonic rocks in southeastern Superior Province

L. Paul Bédard*, John N. Ludden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The Opatica plutonic belt, Abitibi greenstone belt, and Pontiac Subprovince represent a major proportion of the southeastern Superior Province, which was formed and accreted rapidly between approximately 2.9 and 2.8 Ga. Plutons in these belts are grouped into four types: (i) trondhjemite-tonalite-granodiorite (TTG) suite (2.82-2.69 Ga), (ii) monzodiorite (MZD) suite (2.697-2.669 Ga), (iii) late alkaline granitoid (ALK) suite (2.68-2.67 Ga), and (iv) anatectic granite and monzonite (ANA) suite (2.69-2.64 Ga). The four suites are represented in all belts and show similar petrography and geochemistry. In terms of Nd-isotope composition, the TTG, MZD, and ALK suites are typical of destructive plate margin magmatism and have +1.4 < initial εNd < +3.7, values which are very similar to that of the Abitibi mantle (εNd +2.5). The lower values for the ANA suites (εNd +0.1 to +2.4) result from recycling of crustal components. In the Opatica belt the ANA granitoids fall on the Nd-isotope evolution curve defined by the Opatica TTG plutons, and are thus considered to be melt products of this suite. However, Abitibi and Pontiac ANA suites show a larger range of εNd, from +0.1 to +2.4, compared with +1.0 to +1.3 for the Opatica, suggesting more heterogeneous crustal source rock. Recent geological mapping and geophysical studies associated with the Lithoprobe project have suggested that the Opatica belt represents a plutonic belt against which the Abitibi was accreted by subduction-related collision and that the Pontiac Subprovince is dominated by imbricated metasediments related to the final stages of collision in the Abitibi region. The Nd-isotope data provide support for these arguments. Early plutonic suites are mantle derived and related to arc-accretion processes. As the collision process progresses, a more evolved isotopic component is introduced, possibly in relation to sediment subduction into the mantle. Anatexis of the crust in the central Opatica belt and the core of the Pontiac Subprovince resulted in the formation of granites with a crustal signature for Nd isotopes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-298
Number of pages13
JournalCanadian Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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