The Paleoproterozoic crust in the north-central U.S. represents intact juvenile terranes accreted to the rifted Archean Superior craton. A new tectonic province map, based on the interpretation of a new aeromagnetic compilation, published geologic maps, and recent geochronologic data, shows progressive accretion of juvenile arc terranes from ca. 1900-1600 Ma. Contrary to earlier models, geon 18 Penokean-interval crust is primarily confined to a ???2100 Ma tectonic embayment of the rifted Superior craton. The newly defined Spirit Lake tectonic zone, characterized by a sharp magnetic discontinuity that marks the southern limit of Archean and Penokean-interval rocks, is here interpreted to represent an eastern analog of the Cheyenne belt suture zone in southern Wyoming. South of this boundary, geon 17 Yavapai-interval rocks form the basement upon which 1750 Ma rhyolite and succeeding quartzite sequences were deposited. Substantial portions of the Penokean and Yavapai terranes were subsequently deformed during the 1650-1630 Ma Mazatzal orogeny. The northern boundary of the Mazatzal terrane is obscured by abundant 1470-1430 Ma "anorogenic" plutons that stitched the suture with the older Yavapai terrane rocks. These data reveal a progressive tectonic younging to the south as the Laurentian craton grew southward and stabilized during the Proterozoic. Late Mesoproterozoic rift magmatism produced pronounced geophysical anomalies, indicating strong, but localized crustal modification. In comparison to the western U.S., little tectonism has occurred here in the last 1 billion years, providing a uniquely preserved record of the Precambrian evolution of the continental U.S. lithosphere. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Reinterpretation of Paleoproterozoic accretionary boundaries of the north-central United States based on a new aeromagnetic-geologic compilation