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The Disappointment Hill complex: Proterozoic granulites in southwestern Newfoundland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 November 2011

J. V. Owen
J. V. Owen, Department of Geology, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 3C3.
K. L. Currie
K. L. Currie, Geological Survey of Canada, 601 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0E8.


The Steel Mountain terrane of the southern Long Range Mountains forms a fault-bounded massif of (meta)plutonic rocks including the Disappointment Hill complex (DHC), a sequence of granulite-facies lithologies containing charnockite emplaced at 1498 Ma (U-Pb, zircon). Quartzofeldspathic gneiss of the DHC contains garnet + biotite + orthopyroxene ± cordierite assemblages indicative of metamorphic P–T conditions of ca 750°C and 400 MPa. The relatively high thermal gradient (ca 70°C km−1) inferred for the DHC is attributed to a magmatic heat source.

On grounds of lithology, age and metamorphic grade, the DHC correlates to granulites of the Long Range Inlier (LRI) exposed farther north. Both complexes occur in blocks thrust westward over Taconic allochthons capped by ophiolite nappes. The block containing the DHC, however, preserves younger cover rocks, suggesting that it originated at a higher structural level than the LRI. This model is supported by lower pressure estimates for the DHC relative to the LRI (400 MPa vs 500–800 MPa). The DHC forms a link between Grenvillian rocks of the northern Long Range of Newfoundland and those of Cape Breton Island. The structural position of these massifs suggests that their emplacement was a post-Taconic event.

Research Article
Copyright © Royal Society of Edinburgh 1991

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