Klein Suite
Stratigraphic label: [ppro]kle
Map symbol: pPkle

First published: 20 October 2016
Last modified:




  DISCLAIMER: This English version is translated from the original French. In case of any discrepancy, the French version shall prevail. 

Informal subdivision(s)
Numbering does not necessarily reflect the stratigraphic position.
pPkle3 Metagabbro and glomerophyric metagabbro
pPkle2 Metaperidotite and metapyroxenite
pPkle1 Amphibolite and metabasalt
pPkle1d Amphibolite with some paraschist
pPkle1c Highly altered carbonate-quartz amphibolite
pPkle1b Massive or pillow metabasalt and metavolcaniclastics
pPkle1a Fine to very fine-grained amphibolite
Author: Simard et al., 2013
Age: Paleoproterozoic
Stratotype: None
Type area: Kuujjuaq and Ungava Bay area (NTS sheet 24K)
Geological province: Churchill Province
Geological subdivision: Rachel-Laporte Lithotectonic Domain
Lithology: Amphibolite
Category: Lithodemic
Rank: Suite
Status: Formal
Use: Active


The Klein Suite was introduced in the Kuujjuaq and Ungava Bay area (Simard et al., 2013) to group all metamorphosed mafic and ultramafic rocks of the Laporte Supersuite. The Laporte Supersuite includes Paleoproterozoic volcano-sedimentary rocks of the Rachel-Laporte Lithotectonic Domain, which represents the eastern part of the New Quebec Orogen. The Klein Suite was continued southward in the Saffray Lake (Lafrance et al., 2014) and Jeannin Lake (Charette et al., 2016) areas.

In the Rachel-Laporte Domain, mafic rocks now assigned to the Klein Suite were first mapped by Sauvé (1957, 1959), Gélinas (1958a, 1958b, 1959), Fahrig (1964), Dimroth (1966), Dressler (1974, 1979), Baragar (1967), Frarey (1967), Penrose (1978), Clark (1978, 1980) and Girard (1995). These observations were incorporated into the SIGÉOM compilation map by Thomas Clark between 2009 and 2016 and used to supplement the description of several units.



The Klein Suite groups Paleoproterozoic metamorphosed mafic and ultramafic rocks of the Rachel-Laporte Lithotectonic Domain. It consists of three informal units: 1) amphibolite and metabasalt (pPkle1); 2) metamorphosed ultramafic rocks (pPkle2); and 3)  metagabbro and glomerophyric metagabbro.


Klein Suite 1 (pPkle1): Amphibolite and Metabasalt

Unit pPkle1 consists of four informal units: 1) fine to very fine-grained amphibolite, possibly of volcanic origin (pPkle1a); 2) massive or pillow metabasalt and mafic or intermediate metavolcaniclastics (pPkle1b); 3) highly altered carbonate-quartz amphibolite (pPkle1c), and 4) amphibolite associated with some paraschist (pPkle1d). The different authors who worked in the Rachel-Laporte Domain did not always distinguish these differences in composition or texture; therefore, some outcrops were assigned to the undivided amphibolite unit (pPkle1). Unit pPkle1 could therefore include some medium to coarse-grained amphibolite of possible intrusive origin similar to unit pPkle3. Very fine-grained amphibolite is interpreted as effusive in origin, while coarser-grained rocks may be intrusive in origin. Observed relationships between these two facies suggest that coarser-grained amphibolites may be sills associated with lava.


Klein Suite 1a (pPkle1a): Fine to Very Fine-Grained Amphibolite

Amphibolites of subunit pPkle1a are banded, massive or schistose, dark green or black grey and fine to very fine grained, rarely medium grained. Banding is caused by variations in ferromagnesian mineral content. In thin sections, these rocks are characterized by a well-developed oriented granoblastic texture. They are composed of small hornblende prisms (50-85%) aligned in a fine-grained matrix of plagioclase ± quartz crystals that fill the pores. In places, hornblende also occurs as poikiloblasts more or less orientated in foliation. Some samples also contain 10-25% intergrown actinolite crystal clusters. Actinolite also replaces hornblende or clinopyroxene (uralitization), which is only preserved locally. The common presence of chlorite associated with hornblende, more or less sericitized plagioclase, and interstitial carbonate replacing hornblende or plagioclase and filling fractures, indicate that amphibolite has been affected by retrograde metamorphism of regional importance, but generally quite low. Biotite and garnet are less common, but represent up to 10% of the rock locally. In addition, amphibolite almost always contains sphene, apatite and opaque minerals (ilmenite ± magnetite). Epidote, zircon, allanite, tourmaline and sulphides are also present as accessory phases.


Klein Suite 1b (pPkle1b): Massive or Pillow Metabasalt and Metavolcaniclastics

Subunit pPkle1b is similar to subunit pPkle1at, but is distinguished by the presence of layers where primary textures, such as pillows and vesicles, are preserved. Pillows are usually elongated in foliation and are 5-10 cm wide by 20-40 cm long. Due to deformation, stratigraphic polarities are generally impossible to determine.


Klein Suite 1c (pPkle1c): Highly Altered Carbonate-Quartz Amphibolite

Klein Suite amphibolites are commonly cut by discontinuous and boudinaged carbonate or quartz veins. Amphibolites locally show strong carbonate and silica alteration in the form of lenses that, when sufficiently numerous, give the rock a brecciated texture. In the Bay aux Feuilles area, Sauvé (1959) recognized a unit of altered amphibolite that Simard et al. (2013) assigned to subunit pPkle1c subunit.


Klein Suite 1d (pPkle1d): Amphibolite With Some Paraschist

Centimetric to metric layers of rocks belonging to various metasedimentary units of the Freneuse Suite are in places interstratified with amphibolites of the Klein Suite. Some areas with a larger proportion of these paraschist layers were assigned to informal subunit pPkle1d in the Bay aux Feuilles (Sauvé, 1959) and Thévenet Lake (Gélinas, 1958a) areas.


Klein Suite 2 (pPkle2): Metaperidotite and Metapyroxenite

Unit pPkle2 consists mainly of metaperidotite and, to a lesser extent, metapyroxenite. Metaperidotite is very fine grained, foliated, highly magnetic, and blackish grey or light green in fresh exposure and buffy brown in altered surafce. On outcrops, relics of cumulate olivine crystals (35-50%) are commonly distinguished, giving the rock a spotted appearance. This texture is hardly observable in thin sections, underlined only by the circular arrangement of fine magnetite grains. Primary minerals of metaperidotite are generally replaced by a fine-grained mixture of tremolite acicular or in or large felt clusters, chlorite in large masses of fine crystals or felt clusters, carbonate and serpentine (iddingsite and antigorite). Two types of chlorite are often present, pennine and prochlorite. More or less altered olivine and pyroxene crystals are preserved locally. In some areas, the ultramafic rock is transformed into a mixture of carbonate and talc and is not magnetic. Metapyroxenite is massive or foliated, fine to medium grained and dark green. It is mainly composed of large amphibole crystals (actinolite and hornblende) with some clinopyroxene (<10%).


Klein Suite 3 (pPkle3): Metagabbro and Glomerophyric Metagabbro

Metagabbro is homogeneous, non-magnetic, medium grained, massive, locally foliated or lineated. It is dark green or greenish grey, both in fresh exposure and altered surface. It generally contains 55-80% ferromagnesian minerals, locally more in some pockets or discontinuous layers of ultramafic composition. Compositional variations characterize some outcrops where tremolite-rich ultramafic rocks, melanocratic and leucocratic gabbros coexist. These different facies may correspond to multiple intrusive phases or are the result of magmatic differentiation within a single sill. Unit pPkle3 outcrops contain locally 1-2% millimetric to centimetric calcite ± quartz veinlets.

Metagabbro is mainly composed of large amphibole crystals (hornblende or actinolite) in a finer-grained and well recrystallized quartz ± plagioclase matrix. Clinopyroxene is locally preserved, but is generally partly or highly amphibolized. Hornblende occurs as large poikiloblasts, actinolite as rods. Secondary mineral phases are opaque minerals, sphene, apatite, zircon, chlorite, biotite and epidote with local carbonate and garnet.

In some places, metagabbro has a glomerophyric texture defined by 10-60% whitish porphyroblasts. These represent aggregates of small plagioclase crystals containing hornblende and anthophyllite rods displaying random orientation. Deformation of these textures is variable. Slightly deformed aggregates are rounded with a diameter <4 cm. With increased deformation, they take an oval or very stretched shape in foliation and are up to 10 cm long (Gélinas, 1956). This facies had already been described east of Gabriel Lake by Gélinas (1958b) and Sauvé and Bergeron (1965). In the Labrador Trough, Sauvé and Bergeron (1965) mention the presence of spotted (glomerophyric) gabbros, which can be equivalent to Klein Suite metagabbros, at the base of volcanic sequences of the Hellancourt Formation (Sauvé and Bergeron, 1965; Wares and Goutier, 1990; Clark and Wares, 2004).

In the Jeannin Lake area, a subophitic gabbro intrusion was observed west of Horseshoe Lake. The intrusion, which is ~4 km by 2 km, displays alternating subophitic gabbro and partially amphibolized gabbro similar to metagabbro described above. The subophitic facies is purplish grey, slightly magnetic in places and more leucocratic than the amphibolitized facies. Ferromagnesian minerals (40-50%) consist of unaltered clinopyroxene, and olivine highly replaced by a mixture of serpentine, chlorite and actinolite.


Thickness and distribution

Klein Suite amphibolites form layers and klippes up to 5 km wide interstratified with metasedimentary units of the Freneuse Suite. Ultramafic rocks of unit pPkle2 unit and metagabbros of unit pPkle3 form hectometric to kilometric intrusions. On the eastern and northern edge of the Wheeler Complex, in the Jeannin Lake area, there are thicker amphibolite and metagabbro sequences that are nearly 10 km wide.



Klein Suite rocks have not been dated to date. However, the pPkle2 metagabbro unit could be equivalent to the Montagnais Sills in the Labrador Trough. In the Howse Lake area, Findlay et al. (1995) obtained an age of 1884 ±1.6 Ma in a Montagnais glomerophyric sill. Another glomerophyric sill from the summit portion of the Hellancourt Formation was dated to 1874 ±3 Ma (Machado, 1990).

Stratigraphic Relationship(s)

In the northern part of the Rachel-Laporte Lithotectonic Domain, unit pPkle1 amphibolites are probably equivalent to lava and sills of the Hellancourt Formation (Sauvé and Bergeron, 1965; Clark, 1980), which is assigned to the Koksoak Group (Wares and Goutier, 1990; Clark and Wares, 2004). In the southern part, amphibolites could be partly equivalent to volcanic rocks of the Willbob and Murdoch formations of the Doublet Group recognized by Dressler (1979) immediately west of the Rachel-Laporte Domain.

Unit pPkle3 metagabbros may represent metamorphosed equivalents of intrusive rocks belonging to the Montagnais Sills (Wares and Goutier, 1990; Clark and Wares, 2004), a unit consisting of mafic and ultramafic sills that have intruded in various sedimentary and volcanic units of the Labrador Trough.

The Klein Suite is in fault contact with various Archean or Proterozoic complexes (thrust sheets) of the Rachel-Laporte Domain, namely the Boulder, Rénia, Highfall, Boullé, Wheeler and Giton complexes. (Simard et al., 2013; Lafrance et al., 2014; Charette et al., 2016). The various Klein units are also locally intruded by granite and pegmatitic granite dykes or sills of the Mercier Suite.


Does not apply.


Author(s) Title Year of Publication Hyperlink (EXAMINE or Other)
BARAGAR, W.R.A. Wakuach Lake map-area, Quebec-Labarador (23 O). Geological Survey of Canada; Memoir 344, 174 pages. 1967 Source
CHARETTE, B. LAFRANCE, I. MATHIEU, G. Géologie de la région du lac Jeannin (SNRC 24B). Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles, Québec. 2016

Electronic geological report

CLARK, T. Région du lac Hérodier, Nouveau-Québec. Ministère des Richesses naturelles; DPV 568, 48 pages. 1978 DPV 568
CLARK, T. Région de la rivière Koksoak. Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources, Québec; DPV 781, 24 pages. 1980 DPV 781
CLARK, T. – WARES, R. Synthèse lithotectonique et métallogénique de l’Orogène du Nouveau-Québec (Fosse du Labrador). Ministère des Ressources naturelles, de la Faune et des Parcs, Québec; MM 2004-01, 182 pages, 1 plan. 2004 MM 2004-01
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DRESSLER, B. Geology of the Nachicapau, Horseshoe (1/6-SW), Marcel, Buteux and Jogues (East half) Lakes areas, New Quebec Territory. Ministère des Richesses naturelles, Québec; DP 269, 17 pages. 1974 DP 269
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FAHRIG, W. F. Lac Hérodier, Québec. Commission géologique du Canada; carte 1146A (carte annotée). 1965 Source
FINDLAY, J.M. – PARRISH, R.R. – BIRKETT, T.C. – WATANABE, D.H. U-Pb ages from the Nimish Formation and Montagnais glomeroporphyritic gabbro of the central New Québec Orogen, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences; volume 32, pages 1208-1220. 1995 Source
FRAREY, M.J. Willbob Lake and Thompson Lake map-areas, Quebec and Newfoundland (23O/1 and 23 O/8). Geological Survey of Canada; Memoir 348, 73 pages. 1967 Source
GÉLINAS, L. Les aplites à nodules dans la région de Fort-Chimo. Mémoire de maîtrise, Université Laval, Québec; 97 pages 1956
Région du lac Thévenet (moitié est), Nouveau-Québec. Ministère des Mines, Québec; RP 363, 9 pages, 1 plan.
1958a RP 363
GÉLINAS, L. Région du lac Gabriel (partie ouest), Nouveau-Québec. Ministère des Mines, Québec; RP 373, 11 pages, 1 plan. 1958b RP 373
GÉLINAS, L. Région du lac Gabriel (partie est), et la région de Fort Chimo (partie ouest), Nouveau-Québec. Ministère des Mines, Québec; RP 407, 11 pages, 1 plan. 1959 RP 407
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LAFRANCE, I. SIMARD, M. BANDYAYERA, D. Géologie de la région du lac Saffray (SNRC 24G-24F). Ministère des Ressources naturelles, Québec; RG 2014-02, 49 pages. 2014 RG 2014-02
MACHADO, N. Timing of collisional events in the Trans-Hudson Orogen: evidence from U-Pb geochronology for the New Québec Orogen, the Thompson Belt and the Reindeer Zone (Manitoba and Saskatchewan). In: The Early Proterozoic Trans-Hudson Orogen of North America ( Lewry, J.F. and Stauffer, M.R., editors). Geological Association of Canada; Special Paper 37, pages 353-369. 1990
PENROSE, B. Géologie de la région du lac Horseshoe, Territoire du Nouveau-Québec. Ministère des Richesses naturelles, DPV 573, 39 pages. 1978 DPV 573
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SAUVÉ, P. Région de la baie aux Feuilles, Nouveau-Québec. Ministère des Mines, Québec; RP 399, 13 pages, 1 plan. 1959 RP 399
SAUVÉ, P. BERGERON, R. Région des lacs Gerido et Thévenet, Nouveau-Québec. Ministère des Richesses naturelles, Québec; RG 104, 124 pages, 3 plans. 1965 RG 104
SIMARD, M. LAFRANCE, I. HAMMOUCHE, H. LEGOUIX, C. Géologie de la région de Kuujjuaq et de la Baie d’Ungava (SNRC 24J et 24K). Ministère des Ressources naturelles, Québec; RG 2013-04, 60 pages. 2013 RG 2013-04


Synthèse métallogénique des indices de sulfures au nord du 57e parallèle, Fosse du Labrador : Étape III. Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources, Québec; MB 90-25, 103 pages, 2 plans. 1990 MB 90-25



12 février 2020