Geochemical constraints on the depositional environment of the 1.84 Ga Embury Lake Formation, Flin Flon Belt, Canada

Kento Motomura, Shoichi Kiyokawa, Minoru Ikehara, Kentaro Tanaka, Yuji Sano

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The Flin Flon Belt of Canada contains Paleoproterozoic volcanic–sedimentary sequences that are related to the Trans-Hudson Orogeny. The sequences include island arc volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks (Amisk Group) that are unconformably overlain by subaerial sedimentary rocks (Missi Group), and younger deep facies sediments. In the Flin Flon area, several north–south trending faults divide the sequences into blocks and obscure the depositional environment of the deep facies sediments. Locally, within the Flin Flon area, the Embury Lake Formation is in fault contact with island arc volcanic–sedimentary sequences of the Amisk and Missi Groups. To identify the depositional environment of the Embury Lake Formation, we used lithologic and geochemical approaches. Here, we report carbon isotopic values in organic matter (δ13Corg) and sulfur isotopes (δ34S), as well as total organic carbon and total sulfur measurements for the black shale in the formation. Samples were taken from a drill core that contains alternating bands of sandstone and black shale. Pyrite in the black shale is divided into four textural types: euhedral, vein-type, elliptical, and microcrystalline. Microcrystalline pyrite is typically generated by microbially mediated sulfate reduction. An extremely low S/C ratio (avg. = 0.04) is consistent with lacustrine deposition. The ranges of δ13Corg (−36 ‰ to −27 ‰) and δ34S (+3.0 ‰ to +7.7 ‰) values can be explained by bacterial photosynthesis that involved Calvin cycle and acetyl CoA pathways, and sulfate reduction in a low-sulfate environment. Considering the depositional age reported in a previous study of < 1.84 Ga, the Embury Lake Formation was likely emplaced in a lacustrine setting during the Trans-Hudson Orogeny.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12343
JournalIsland Arc
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology

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