Lac des Montagnes Group
Stratigraphic label: [narc]mo
Map symbol: nAmo

First published: 14 November 2017
Last modified: 14 June 2019








Translation of original French




Informal subdivision(s)
Numbering does not necessarily reflect the stratigraphic position.
nAmo5 Amphibolite derived from komatiitic basalt
nAmo4 Iron formation
nAmo3 Felsic volcanoclastics
nAmo2 Intermediate volcanics
nAmo1 Amphibolitized basalt and amphibolite
nAmo1a Metatexite derived from amphibolite, containing 20 to 50% mobilisate


Author: Bandyayera and Daoudene, 2018
Age: Neoarchean
Reference section: None
Type area: The most representative outcrops are located northwest of the Goulde Lake area (NTS sheet 32O11).
Geological province: Superior Province
Geological subdivision: Nemiscau Subprovince
Lithology: Volcano-sedimentary rocks
Type: Lithostratigraphic
Rank: Group
Status: Formal
Use: Active






The Lac des Montagnes Group was introduced in the early 2000s when the Nemiscau and La Grande subprovinces were compiled. It was defined to describe a package of volcano-sedimentary rocks observed south of the Champion Complex along the Rupert River. Valiquette (1963) first described these rocks in the Lake des Montagnes area, and subdivisions and descriptions of the unit are based on his work (Valiquette, 1963, 1975). Bandyayera and Daoudene (2018) and Bandyayera and Caron-Côté (2019) also helped map the Lac des Montagnes group. Bandyayera and Daoudene (2018) have reassigned to the Rupert Complex the variably migmatitized biotite-hornblende ± staurotide ± garnet paragneiss units originally attached to the Lac des Montagnes Group. In fact, these paragneiss form a homogeneous unit of strong lateral extension that has the same petrographic and structural characteristics. 



The Lac des Montagnes Group consists mainly of volcano-sedimentary rocks. It is divided into five units: 1) amphibolitized basalt and amphibolite (nAmo1); 2) intermediate volcanics (Amo2); 3) felsic volcanoclastics (nAmo3); 4) iron formation (nAmo4); and amphibolite derived from komatiitic basalt (nAmo5). However, stratigraphic stacking of these units could not be accurately determined.



Lac des Montagnes Group 1 (nAmo1): Amphibolitized Basalt and Amphibolite

This unit represents about 80% of the area of the Lac des Montagnes Group. Representative outcrops are located northwest and north of Senay Lake (NTS sheet 32O1; Valiquette, 1975). 

The basalt and amphibolite derived from basalt in the nAmo1 unit are fine to medium-grained, green-grey in fresh exposure and dark green to black, locally light-grey in altered patina. They form massive to pillow flows locally associated with flow breccias. Pillows are usually elongated, stretched and flattened and are surrounded by well-preserved black hyaloclastic material. Locally, deformed quartz chambers appear to indicate stratigraphic polarity to the south. The margins of the pillows are generally richer in hornblende than the rest of the rock and show epidote and locally silica alteration. These areas may also contain 5-10% garnet, 5% biotite and up to 15% disseminated sulphides. The spaces between pillows, the centre of pillows or the massive lava flows show in places a replacement with felsic material or saussuritized nuclei (“epidote balls”). These nuclei are widespread in these basaltic rocks.

In thin section, metavolcanic rocks of the nAmo1 unit show fine to very fine grain size and a generally granonematoblastic texture. They are mainly composed of amphibole (hornblende, actinolite-tremolite), for over 50 modal%, and plagioclase (40%) associated with minor amounts of quartz and biotite. Hornblende is partially replaced by chlorite and epidote. These mafic rocks metamorphosed to the upper greenschist and amphibolite facies also contain sphene, sulphides, calcite and sericite as accessory or alteration minerals.

Unit nAmo1 contains in places decametric horizons of massive to pillow ultramafic lava. The tremolite-rich foliated rock is magnetic, fine to medium-grained and is dark grey to brownish in altered surface and medium to dark greenish grey in fresh exposure. Ultramafic horizons are characterized by tourmaline alteration combined with an enrichment in tremolite-actinolite. Tourmaline (5-15%) is in the form of clusters, or isolated crystals up to 3 cm, aligned with foliation.

Lithogeochemical analyses show that the nAmo1 unit is composed of tholeitic basalt and locally andesitic basalt of transitional to calc-alkaline affinity. In the Mezière and Nemiscau lakes region (sheets 32N06 and 32N07) to the west, most tholeitic basalts, especially magnesian and komatiitic basalts, are characterized by heavy rare earth enrichment compared to light rare earths. A number of trace element ratios clearly show a geotectonic setting environment for these rocks similar to that of N-MORB (Pearce, 2008). Further east, in the Lake de la Sicotière area (sheet 32N08), tholeitic basalts are instead characterized by generally flat rare earth profile. Their ratios of trace elements suggest a geodynamic environment similar to that of island-arc tholeiite, or ocean floor basalt contaminated by continental crust (Pearce, 2008; Wood, 1983).

Lac des Montagnes Group 1a (nAmo1a): Metatexite Derived From Amphibolite, Containing 20 to 50% Mobilisate

Subunit nAmo1a consists of metatexite from partial fusion of a banded amphibolite of probable volcanic origin. The non-melted rock is fine to medium-grained, granoblastic, showing a flat profile of chondrite-normalized rare earths. Orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene and garnet are common in melted amphibolite and mobilisate. The subunit contains subangular centimetric rafts of banded amphibolite in the leucosome. This arrangement locally defines an agmatitic texture.

Lac des Montagnes Group 2 (nAmo2): Intermediate Volcanics

The intermediate volcanic unit is the least known of the Lac des Montagnes Group. These rocks are generally described in outcrops as amphibolitized basalts. Therefore, they were renamed based on lithogeochemical analysis results. Intermediate volcanics are dark grey in altered surface, medium grey to greenish grey in fresh exposure. The rock is fine to medium-grained, homogeneous, foliated and locally magnetic. Locally observed structures are interpreted as stretched and flattened isolated pillows, amphibolitized flow margins or pillow breccias. The rock contains 60% hornblende 0.5 to 5 mm and 1 to 2% magnetite 0.2 to 0.5 mm. In places, silicified and garnet-rich (up to 30%) horizons are visible. Chemically, these rocks are calc-alkaline affinity andesites, richer in SiO2, TiO2 and light rare earth elements than basalts of the nAmo1 unit.

Lac des Montagnes Group 3 (nAmo3): Felsic Volcanoclastics

Felsic volcanic rocks make up a small proportion of the Lac des Montagnes Group. Unit nAmo3 consists of felsic volcanoclastics that form decametric to hectometric horizons, interstratified in the basaltic sequence of the nAmo1 unit. The best preserved sequences are bedded felsic tuffs characterized by alternating centimetric to metric beds of lapilli tuffs, fine-grained massive ash tuffs and conchoidal-fractured fine-grained tuffs. The rock is whitish in altered surface and greenish grey in fresh exposure. The matrix is sericitized and chloritized.

In thin section, felsic tuffs are granoblastic and mainly composed of quartz and plagioclase grains included in a fine-grained recrystallized matrix composed of chlorite, sericite, epidote, quartz and plagioclase. Epidote, apatite, sphene and sulphides are present as accessory minerals. Lithogeochemical analyses show that the felsic tuff of unit nAmo3 is of rhyodacitic composition and calc-alkaline affinity.

Lac des Montagnes Group 4 (nAmo4): Iron Formation

Unit nAmo4 consists of several horizons of iron formation less than 150 m thick interstratified in the metabasalt unit (nAmo1). It is clearly visible on aeromagnetic maps. Iron formations at the silicate and oxide facies are massive to banded. They are composed of ribbons and laminae of magnetite that alternate with amphibole-rich magnetic bands and magnetite paragneiss bands. Massive magnetite bands are black to blue grey and are at places of metric thickness. Amphibole-rich bands are greenish grey and are very limited in extent. Beige-grey magnetite paragneiss makes up about one third of the total thickness of the iron formation. The entire sequence is affected by numerous tight isoclinal folds that have axial planes parallel to regional schistosity.

Horizons of silicate iron formation were also observed in volcano-sedimentary rock outliers of the Champion Complex and were linked to the Lac des Montagnes Group. In thin section, the rock contains up to 75% cummingtonite and 15% garnet poekiloblasts.

Lac des Montagnes Group 5 (nAmo5): Amphibolite Derived From Komatiitic Basalt

Unit nAmo5 consists of amphibolite derived from komatitic basalt and represents a small proportion of the Lac des Montagnes Group. This unit occurs as decametres to hectometre-thick horizons interstratified in the basaltic sequence of unit nAmo1. It also appears to be spatially associated with a horizon of felsic volcanic rocks of unit nAmo3 north of Voirdye Lake. Amphibolites derived from komatitic basalt are fine to medium grained and foliated. They are dark green in fresh exposure and altered patina. They are mainly composed of actinolite (>90%) and contain accessory serpentine. On some outcrops, these rocks contain 1 to 5% millimetric tourmaline.

Thickness and Distribution

The Lac des Montagnes group extends approximately 60 km along an E-W axis between sheets 32N05, 32N06 and 32N07. It also extends disparately for about 120 km along an NE-SW axis between sheets 32N07 and 32O14. Its width generally ranges from 200 to 1000 m. In sheet 32N, it is found mainly in the northern part of the Nemiscau Subprovince, between the Champion Complex (La Grande Subprovince), to the north, and migmatitized rocks of the Rupert Complex (Nemiscau Subprovince), to the south. In sheet 32O, it is found on both sides of the subprovince, forming a volcanic rock belt to the north and south.

Unit nAmo1 is the most common and occupies most of the Lac des Montagnes Group. Unit nAmo2 forms several small lenses distributed disparately. These lenses are located west of Hutte Lake and south of Indien and Caumont lakes. Unit nAmo3 is primarily located in the Voirdye Lake area, as well as south of Indien Lake and NW of La Sicotière Lake. Iron formations (nAmo4) were mapped very locally during the work of Bandyayera and Daoudene (2018). They are primarily located south of Caumont Lake and east of Kanamekuskasich Lake. Unit nAmo5 was mapped during the work of Bandyayera and Caron-Côté (2019), mainly between Voirdye and Chlorite lake areas. It was also observed in sheets 32N08 and 32N09, but was not mapped due to its small dimensions.


A few samples of felsic volcanoclastite belonging to unit nAmo3, collected through the Lac des Montagnes Belt, were dated. In the southwestern belt (sheet 32N06), a sample collected 4 km to the NE of Échancrure Lake (outcrop 16-CS-4001) was dated 2710 ±6 Ma (David, 2019a). Two other samples collected in sheets 32N08 and 32N09 yielded similar ages: 2707 ±10 Ma for a sample 2.8 km east of Caumont Lake (outcrop 17-DB-1037) and 2716 ±3.3 Ma for a sample collected 1 km Se of Kapapineyapiskach Lake (outcrop 17-RP-6096) (David, 2019b). Further to the NE (sheet 32O12), a sample located 500 m NW of Voirdye Lake (outcrop 18-EC-2155) yielded a crystallization age of 2723.2 ±3.9 Ma (David, personal communication). The geographic distribution of these ages suggests that there is rejuvenation of volcanism from the NE to the SW of the Lac des Montagnes Belt.

Isotopic System Mineral Crystallization Age (Ma) (+) (-) Reference(s)
U-Pb Zircon 2710 6 6 David, 2019a
U-Pb Zircon 2707 10 10 David, 2019b
U-Pb Zircon 2716 3.3 3.3 David, 2019b

Stratigraphic Relationship(s)

The Lac des Montagnes Group is in structural contact with plutonic and gneissic rocks of the La Grande and Opatica subprovinces, to the north and south of the Nemiscau Subprovince respectively. These volcanic rocks are stratigraphically overlaid by the Rupert Complex in its SW part, where they are oriented along an E-W axis (sheets 32N05, 32N06, 32N07) (Bandyayera and Daoudene, 2018). Contact between the Lac des Montagnes Group and the Rupert Complex is generally sheared, but it may represent an old discordance. The Rupert Complex contains, in places, variably migmatized horizons of volcanic amphibolite that are likely from the Lac des Montagnes Group. The Voirdye Formation stratigraphically overlies the Lac des Montagnes Group between Nemiscau and Cramoisy lakes (from sheet 32N07 to sheet 32O14). The volcanic rock belt located south of the Rivière Nemiscau Shear Zone has also been added into the Lac des Montagnes Group, as it shows the same lithological characteristics and associations. In addition, the Caumont Mafic-Ultramafic Suite is mostly intrusive in the Lac des Montagnes Group. Intrusive pegmatites of the Spodumène Suite are also found very locally in the Lac des Montagnes Group, west of Spodumène Lake and east of Andalousite Lake. Pegmatites of the Mezières Suite are also intrusive in these volcanic rocks, mainly in sheet 32O12. Some kilometre-scale amphibolite klippes are found as enclaves within a mass approximately 20 km in length belonging to the Mezières Suite.


Does not apply.


Author(s) Title Year of Publication Hyperlink (EXAMINE or Other)
VALIQUETTE, G. Géologie de la région du lac des Montagnes, Territoire de Mistassini. Ministère des Richesses naturelles, Québec; RP 500, 156 pages, 1 plan. 1963 RP 500
VALIQUETTE, G. Région de la rivière Nemiscau. Ministère des Richesses naturelles, Québec; RG 158, 156 pages, 3 plans. 1975 RG 158
BANDYAYERA, D. – DAOUDENE, Y. Géologie de la région du lac Champion, sous-provinces de La Grande et de Nemiscau, à l’est de Waskaganish, Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, Québec, Canada. Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles, Québec; BG 2018-06. 2018 BG 2018-06
BANDYAYERA, D. – CARON-COTE, E. Géologie et potentiel minéral de la région de lac des Montagnes, sous-province de La Grande, de Nemiscau et d’Opatica, Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, Québec, Canada. Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles, Québec; BG 2019-03. 2019 BG 2019-03
PEARCE, J.A. Geochemical fingerprinting of oceanic basalts with applications to ophiolite classification and the search for archean oceanic crust. Lithos; volume 100, pages 14-48. 2008 Source
DAVID, J. Datations U-Pb dans la Province du Supérieur effectuées au GEOTOP en 2015-2016. Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles, Québec; MB 2018-16, 24 pages. 2019a MB 2018-16
DAVID, J. Datations U-Pb dans les provinces de Grenville et du Supérieur effectuées au GEOTOP en 2016-2017. Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles, Québec; MB 2018-17, 22 pages. 2019b MB 2018-17
WOOD, D.A. The application of a Th-Hf-Ta diagram to problems of tectonomagmatic classification and to establishing the nature of crustal contamination of basaltic lavas of the British Tertiary volcanic province. Earth and Planetary Science Letters; volume 50, pages 11-30. 1980 Source



7 novembre 2018