Paleomagnetism of the Paleoproterozoic hematitic breccia and paleosol at Ville-Marie, Quebec: Further evidence for the low paleolatitude of Huronian glaciation

Phillip W. Schmidt*, George E. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)


    The paleomagnetism of a saprolitic paleosol developed on Archean granite and of an overlying hematitic breccia in the basal Lorrain Formation of the Cobalt Group (Huronian Supergroup, ~2.4-2.3 Ga) near Ville-Marie, Quebec, has been investigated to further constrain the paleolatitude of the Lorrain Formation and the subjacent glaciogenic Gowganda Formation. Only the breccia, whose hematite may be a product of weathering prior to or shortly after deposition, yielded useable results with stepwise thermal demagnetization. A stable component A (maximum unblocking temperature, T(ub), of ~675°C) carried by hematite is directed shallowly to the east-northeast (D = 59.5°, I = 2.4°, α95 = 6.7°, n = 47, dip-corrected), and a less stable component B (maximum T(ub) of ~580°C) carried by magnetite is directed steeply down to the northeast (D = 52.1°, I = 70.3°, α95 = 2.8°, n = 75, dip-corrected). Component A is ascribed to a chemical remanent magnetization (CRM) acquired when the hematitic breccia was deposited or soon thereafter. Component B is interpreted as a thermochemical overprint related to the Penokean Orogeny at 1.9-1.8 Ga. Dip-corrected specimen mean directions give the pole positions at latitude = 57.1°N, longitude = 338.3°E (dp = 4.1°, dm = 4.8°) for component B, and latitude = 21.1°S, longitude = 213.1°E (dp = 3.3°, dm = 6.7°) for component A. The more easterly directions for components A and B relative to comparable early and overprint components previously determined for the Lorrain and Gowganda formations at Elliot Lake and Desbarats 260-360 km southwest of Ville-Marie imply relative rotation of ~30°or more about a vertical axis within the Southern Province since the Penokean Orogeny. The results suggest that the hematitic breccia and the Ville-Marie paleosol formed at a paleolatitude of 1.2°± 3.4°, in accord with our earlier inference of equatorial paleolatitudes for the Lorrain and Gowganda formations and Huronian glaciation. Paleomagnetic data from several continents suggest that ferruginous weathering horizons formed a wide range of paleolatitudes in the Proterozoic.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)273-285
    Number of pages13
    JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 1999


    • Glaciation
    • Huronian
    • Lorrain Formation
    • Paleomagnetism
    • Paleosols
    • Precambrian


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