Foliated to massive hornblende and biotite-bearing tonalite, trondhjemite and granodiorite comprise a terrane of batholithic dimensions in southwestern to central Newfoundland. These rocks intrude and include Ordovician ophiolite fragments and metasedimentary rocks of Fleur de Lys type, and are cut by a suite of Silurian gabbro-diorite and norite and Siluro-Devonian (?) granite intrusions.
A U/Pb (zircon, sphene) age of 456 ± 3 Ma (2σ) and a K/Ar (hornblende) age of 455 ± 14 Ma (previously reported) for a representative least-deformed tonalite of the Southwest Brook Complex indicate that it crystallised and cooled in Caradoc time. A less precise U/Pb (zircon) age of 428 ± 41 Ma (2σ) is measured for tonalitic Cape Ray Granite in southern Newfoundland. On discrimination diagrams which use Rb, Nb and Y contents to infer tectonic setting, these rocks fall in the field of volcanic arc granites. The occurrence of zircon cores with average ages of 1430 + 18/–17 and 1541 ± 173 Ma (2σ) also indicate that the magmas formed in part by partial melting of Proterozoic crust, or sediments derived from such crust. It is suggested that the tonalitic magmas were generated during the Taconic Orogeny in an arc: continent collision zone at the ancient margin of eastern North America.
Tonalitic rocks in western Newfoundland broadly correlative in age and chemistry with the batholith include the Burlington Granodiorite and Hungry Mountain Complex, as well as allochthonous slices of foliated tonalite emplaced over Ordovician platform carbonates W of Grand Lake.