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Geoscience Frontiers


Orogenic belts, strain, Proterozoic


We report the calcite twinning strain results of a traverse across the Grenville orogen from Parry Sound, Ontario (NW) to Ft. Ann, New York (SE), including the younger, adjacent Ordovician Taconic allochthon. Fifty four carbonates (marbles, calcite veins, Ordovician limestone) were collected resulting in 68 strain analyses on mechanically twinned calcite (n ¼ 2337 grains) across the Central Gneiss Belt (CGB; 3 samples), the Central Metasedimentary Belt (CMB; 27 samples), the Central Granulite Terrane (CGT; Adirondack’s; 13 samples) and the Ottawan Orogenic Lid (OOL; 11 samples). Twinning strains in the greenschist-grade OOL marbles preserve NeS shortening and U-Pb titanite ages (w1150 Ma; n ¼ 4) document these marbles formed during the Shawinigan (1190e1140 Ma) part of the Grenville orogen. From northwest to southeast, the Ottawan (1095e1020 Ma) twinning strain is dominantly a layerparallel shortening fabric oriented NeS (Parry Sound), then becomes parallel to the Grenville thrust direction (NWeSE) across the CMB to the Adirondack Highlands where the sub-horizontal shortening strain becomes margin-parallel (SWeNE). Within the regional sample suite there are two areas studied in detail, the Bancroft shear zone (n ¼ 11) and a roadcut on the southeast side of the Adirondack Mountains (Ft. Ann, NY; n ¼ 8). Marbles from the Bancroft shear zone contain calcite grains with 2 sets of twin lamellae (e1 and e2). The better-developed e1 sets (n ¼ 406) record a horizontal fabric oriented NW eSE whereas the younger e2 lamellae (n ¼ 146) preserve a margin-parallel (SWeNE) horizontal fabric. Both the e1 and e2 strains record an overprint vertical shortening strain (NEV), perhaps related to extensional orogenic collapse. We also report an Ottawan orogen-aged granoblastic mylonite (1093 Ma, U-Pb zircon; 1102 Ma Ar-Ar biotite) in the Keweenaw thrust hanging wall 500 km inboard of the Grenville front and interpret the relations of Grenville-Keweenaw far-field dynamics.



This article was originally published in Geoscience Frontiers, vol. 8, issue 6, November 2017, 1357-1384;

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NCND license (

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