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Mackenzie dike swarm: Map


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Map of the Mackenzie dike swarm
The Mackenzie dike swarm, also called the Mackenzie dikes, form a large igneous province in the western Canadian Shield of Canadamarker. It is one of more than three dozen dike swarms in various parts of the Canadian Shield and is the largest dike swarm known on Earth, more than 500 kilometers (311 miles) wide and 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) long, extending in a northwesterly direction across the whole of Canada from the Arctic to the Great Lakesmarker. The mafic dikes cut Archean and Proterozoic rocks, including those in the Athabasca Basin in Saskatchewanmarker, Thelon Basin in Nunavutmarker and the Baker Lake Basin in the Northwest Territoriesmarker.

Coppermine River basalts

Vast volumes of basaltic lava paved over a large area in the western Canadian Shield in the form of a flood basalt event. This massive eruptive event occurred during the Mesoproterozoic era about 1,267 million years ago. Today the thickness of these flood basalts range from 2,000 to 3,500 m and consists of about 150 flows, each about 10-25 m thick which are part of the Copper Creek Formation. Except for the lowermost flows, which contain evidence of interaction with water, the entire sequence was erupted subaerially. Eruption of plateau lavas near the Coppermine Rivermarker, built an extensive volcanic plateau about 1,200 million years ago with an area of about representing a volume of lavas of at least . This basalt sequence has been called the Coppermine River basalts and have been interpreted as contemporaneous with the Mackenzie dikes and with the Muskox intrusionmarker.

Origin and history

The source for the Mackenzie dike swarm is considered to be a mantle plume center called the Mackenzie hotspot. At ca. 1.269-1.267 Ga, the Slave craton was partly uplifted and intruded by the giant Mackenzie dike swarm. This was the last major event to affect the core of the Slave craton, although later on some younger mafic magmatism registered along its edges.

See also


  1. Supressing Varying Directional Trends Retrieved on 2007-07-28
  2. Gunter Faure, Origin of Igneous Rocks, Springer, 1st ed., 2000, pp. 357 - 358, ISBN 3540677720

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