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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Tectonics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Volume 43, Number 5, p.e2023TC008110 (2024)






Archean crustal formation, Electrical resistivity, geodynamics, magnetotellurics, Superior craton


<p>Abstract A data set consisting of 376 broadband and long-period MT measurements was used to generate the first ever 3D resistivity model of the Archean western Superior Craton. The modeled resistivity structure is compared to coincident seismic reflection data. The observed geophysical signatures are interpreted within the context of the late stages of crustal growth and cratonization of the region via the progressive accretion of terranes against the initial cratonic core. The northern-most terranes comprising the cratonic core exhibit a nearly homogenous highly resistive crust. The lower crust of the southern terranes contains largely continuous low resistivity bands which run subparallel to major terrane boundaries and corresponding fault systems. In some cases, low resistivity features are coincident with dense packages of sub-horizontal to listric reflections within the mid- to lower crust. These resistivity structures are inferred to represent preserved geoelectric signatures of late to post-orogenic magmatic pulses likely related to delamination of locally overthickened crust. Increased mantle heat flow resulted in partial melting of the lower crust and upper mantle and upward migration of CO2-rich melts and fluids through crustal weak zones corresponding to shear and/or suture zones formed during terrane amalgamation. Thermal softening of the mid- to lower crust led to orogenic collapse and reactivation of the crustal shear zones, resulting in formation and interconnection of graphitic films which were preserved within the stable craton. These results have implications for the tectono-magmatic history of the western Superior Craton, as well toward the understanding of the geodynamic regime of the Archean Earth.</p>