Paleomagnetism of the 1.88-Ga Sokoman Formation in the Schefferville-Knob Lake area, Québec, Canada, and implications for the genesis of iron oxide deposits in the central New Québec Orogen

George E. Williams*, Phillip W. Schmidt

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Thirty-nine oriented block samples of iron-formation were collected at 13 sites, including opposite limbs of major folds, from the 1.88-Ga Sokoman Formation (Knob Lake Group) in the Schefferville-Knob Lake area of the central New Québec Orogen, northern Québec. The samples assayed up to 80.24% Fe2O3T (54.08% Fe), implying Fe-enrichment of the iron-formation up to ore grade. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility measurements on 245 standard specimens indicate a well preserved bedding-parallel fabric in the iron-formation, suggesting minimal alteration of the magnetic mineralogy since deposition and/or a mimetic secondary magnetic mineralogy. The iron-formation has not been internally deformed since the magnetic mineralogy was established. Analyses by variable-field translation balance and X-ray diffraction showed that the predominant magnetic mineral is hematite but a small amount of magnetite also is present in most samples. Following low-temperature pre-treatment as appropriate, stepwise thermal and alternating-field demagnetization of 218 specimens revealed a low-temperature, post-folding component (maximum Tub≈400°C, D=27.1°, I=20.1°, α95=10.9°, from seven sites; pole position of 40.6°S, 257.0°E), and components carried by magnetite (maximum T ub≈580°C, D=35.8°, I=3.9°, α95=9. 1°, from 10 sites; pole position of 29.6°S, 250.9°E) and hematite (maximum Tub≈680°C, D=40.0°, I=1.6°, α 95=18.6°, from seven sites; pole position of 26.8°S, 247.0°E). The components carried by magnetite and hematite are pre-, syn- and post-folding depending on the sampling site, indicating that the magnetization was acquired continuously with deformation in the New Québec Orogen at 1.84-1.83Ga. No evidence was found for acquisition of magnetization during the Mesozoic, when many of the iron oxide orebodies in the Schefferville-Knob Lake area are thought to have formed. Our findings imply that an episode of Fe-enrichment of iron-formation in the Sokoman Formation involved the circulation of hydrothermal fluids related to late Paleoproterozoic orogenesis. Such orogenic circulation of fluids may have contributed to the development of hematitic orebodies in the central New Québec Orogen.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)167-188
    Number of pages22
    JournalPrecambrian Research
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2004



    • Iron ores
    • Iron-formations
    • Paleomagnetism
    • Paleoproterozoic
    • Québec
    • Sokoman Formation

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