Kinematics of the Rockland Brook Fault, Nova Scotia: Implications for the interaction of the Meguma and Avalon terranes Academic Article uri icon


  • The Cobequid-Chedabucto fault system of northern mainland Nova Scotia represents the surface expression of the Avalon-Meguma terrane boundary, but because it is exposed at high crustal levels in the Cobequid Highlands, the fault system provides little information as to the kinematic relationships of the two terranes in this area. In the eastern Cobequid Highlands, the Rockland Brook Fault (RBF) is exposed within the more deeply eroded highlands massif and juxtaposes units of widely varying ages and lithologies. Therefore, this fault is better suited to define the nature and timing of fault movement associated with Avalon-Meguma terrane interaction. In several large Carboniferous plutons along the length of the RBF, and in previously deformed Precambrian rocks, mylonitic foliation orientations are predominantly east-west trending and mineral lineations plunge southeast. Kinematic indicators such as minor fold vergence, porphyroclast systems, asymmetric boudins, shear-band fabrics, and preferred recrystallization orientations indicate dextral shear. These data are taken to infer that the central section of the RBF is dominated by dextral strike-slip motion. Transpression occurs locally where the RBF curves into restraining bends. Kinematic data in these bends indicate top to the northwest thrusting. At the easternmost extent of the RBF, high-level brittle normal faults predominate in the locally extensional environment. The timing of RBF movement is constrained only by the ca 360 Ma granite bodies which it deforms and by the Westphalian sedimentary rocks which are affected by only the latest stages of movement. These kinematic data are consistent with previously published kinematic models for the interaction of the southern margin of the Avalon Composite Terrane with the Meguma Terrane in mainland Nova Scotia. These models suggest that regional dextral shear was accompanied by localized components of transpressional thrusting, wrench tectonism, and small-scale sedimentary basin development during Devonian to Carboniferous terrane interaction. © 1995.

author list (cited authors)

  • Miller, B. V., Nance, R. D., & Murphy, J. B.

citation count

  • 21

publication date

  • May 1995