The Port Mouton Shear Zone: intersection of a regional fault with a crystallizing granitoid pluton Academic Article uri icon


  • The peraluminous tonalite-monzogranite Port Mouton Pluton is a petrological, geochemical, structural, and geochronological anomaly among the many Late Devonian granitoid intrusions of the Meguma Lithotectonic Zone of southern Nova Scotia. The most remarkable structural feature of this pluton is a 4-km-wide zone of strongly foliated (040/subvertical) monzogranites culminating in a narrow (10-30 m), straight, zone of compositionally banded rocks that extends for at least 3 km along strike. The banded monzogranites consist of alternating melanocratic and leucocratic compositions that are complementary to the overall composition of that part of the pluton, suggesting an origin by mineral-melt and mineral-mineral mineral sorting. Biotite and feldspar are strongly foliated in the plane of the compositional bands. These compositional variations and foliations originated by a process of segregation flow during shearing of the main magma with a crystallinity of 55-75%. Subsequent minor brittle fracturing of feldspars, twinning of microcline, development of blocky sub-grains in quartz, and kinking of micas demonstrate overprinting by a high-temperature deformation straddling the monzogranite solidus. Small folds and late sigmoidal dykes indicate dextral movement on the shear zone. This Port Mouton Shear Zone (PMSZ) is approximately co-linear with the only outcrops of Late-Devonian mafic intrusions in the area, two of which are syn-plutonic with well-developed mingling textures in the marginal tonalite of the Port Mouton Pluton. Also closely co-linear with the mafic intrusions are a granitoid dyke that extends well beyond the outer contact of the Port Mouton Pluton, a swarm of large aligned angular xenolithic slabs, a zone of thin wispy schlieren banding, a large Be-bearing pegmatite, and a breccia pipe with abundant garnetiferous metapelitic xenoliths. In various ways, the shear zone may control all of these features. The Port Mouton Shear Zone is parallel to many other NE-trending faults and shear zones in the northern Appalachians, probably related to the docking of the Meguma Zone along the Cobequid-Chedabucto Fault system. © 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.

author list (cited authors)

  • Clarke, D. B., McCuish, K. L., Vernon, R. H., Maksaev, V., & Miller, B. V.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • April 2002

published in