Dolent Structural Domain
Structural Label: DSdol

First publication: 13 January 2021
Last modification:
Author(s) Beauchamp, 2019
Methodology Defined from geological survey
Geological(s) subdivision(s) Superior Province / Opatica Subprovince
Main movement Does not apply
Deformation style Polyphase folding
Metamorphic facies (mean facies related to main deformation) Amphibolites

Background and Methodology

The Dolent Structural Domain was defined by Beauchamp (2019) following a mapping survey conducted in the Cadieux Lake area in the summer of 2018. It is superimposed on the western branch of the Upper Eastmain Greenstone Belt (UEGB) and on the Cadieux Suite. The following description is based primarily on geological observations collected by Beauchamp (2019), as well as analysis of SIGÉOM regional aeromagnetic survey and detailed magnetic maps of Wade et al. (2014).


Boundaries and Morphology

Width 0.5-4 km
Length 25 km (in sheet 33A07 only)
Orientation  ENE-WSW elongation


The Dolent Structural Domain forms a lenticular strip mainly ESE-WNW. At its western end, the domain undulates due to regional folding. Two shear zones border the Dolent Domain and isolate it from the Cadieux Structural Domain. The Digne Shear Zone separates volcanic rocks of the Dolent Formation (UEGB) from the Digne Pluton located to the north. The southern contact between rocks of the UEGB and those of the Cadieux Suite is also sheared. Flattening and stretch deformation is significant. Sigmoids, asymmetrical Z folds and centimetric to decimetric mylonitic layers within conglomerate suggest reverse-dextral movement.


Stratigraphic Units Concerned

The Dolent Structural Domain is composed of volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Dolent Formation (nAdln1, nAdln2, nAdln3, nAdln4, nAdln5 and nAdln6 ) and Bohier Group (nAbh2, nAbh3). It also includes intrusive rocks of the Cadieux Suite that follow the southern contact of the UEGB.


Structural Characteristics


❯ Main Fabrics

Sn = S2


The dominant planar fabric of the Dolent Structural Domain is foliation Sn, which results from the regional deformation phase Dn. Foliation Sn affects most Archean units of the domain, with the exception of the late granitic intrusive rocks of the Wahemen Suite. This highly penetrative foliation is distinguished by millimetric spacing of flattening planes. Whether in volcanic rocks of the Dolent Formation or in metasedimentary rocks of the Bohier Group, foliation Sn is marked by the preferential orientation of ferromagnesian minerals such as biotite and hornblende. In areas that have accommodated a large amount of deformation, it is also marked by the flattening of quartz and feldspar grains.

In intrusive rocks of the Cadieux Suite, foliation is well developed and defined by the alignment of phyllosilicates (biotite and white mica) and hornblende in spaced flattening planes. As the deformation rate increases, K-feldspar porphyroids are flattened in the Sn direction.

In the eastern part of the domain, foliation Sn is oriented WSW to SW and has a moderate dip towards the NW. Secondary mineral lineations and stretch lineations Ln plunge 55° towards NNE. In the western part of the domain, foliation Sn undulates due to the closure of synformal and antiformal Pn folds.

Deformation of rocks in this area is dominated by flattening and stretching. Sedimentary rocks of the Bohier Group have accommodated deformation better than volcanic rocks and mafic-ultramafic sills of the René Group. The banded appearance of polymictic metaconglomerate is caused by a very high degree of flattening of clasts. In places, the rock forms L-S tectonites. It is so deformed that it is difficult to identify the clasts. Basalt pillows of the Dolent Formation are also very flattened, implying the loss of indicators of stratigraphic polarity. Near the southern contact of the UEGB, pillows are so flattened that they are locally difficult to recognize. They form banns 10 cm to 20 cm thick by 0.5 m to 1 m long. Pillow closures are clearly visible from the side (outcrop 18-AB-1040).

Main Fabric Type of Fabric Direction (°) Dip / Plunge (°) Number of Measurements Comments
Foliation Sn Penetrative tectonometamorphic foliation and schistosity 253 53 117 Some measurements are spread out along a great circle that passes through Sn foliation poles. This suggests that foliation Sn is locally folded.
Lineation Ln Mineral lineation and stretch lineation 015 55 39

There is a spread of values from NW to NE.


❯ Other Fabrics

In addition to the Sn fabric, stratification S0 as well as fabrics Sn-1 and Sn+1 were observed in the Dolent Domain.


1) Early Fabrics

Fabric S0: Stratification S0 was observed locally in the Dolent Domain. It was identified by the orientation of pillows (peduncles) and quartz chambers in basalt and by compositional banding in conglomerates of the Bohier Group. Indicators of stratigraphic polarity in basalt indicate that the volcanic sequence has been reversed.  At the base of the stratigraphy are mafic and ultramafic (intrusive and volcanic) rocks. They are overlain by basalt. The core of the Branche Ouest Syncline is occupied by polymictic conglomerates of the Bohier Group which unconformably overlie (masked by a fault) volcanic rocks of the René Group.

Fabric Sn-1: Foliation Sn-1 is marked by the preferential orientation of ferromagnesian minerals such as biotite and hornblende. Between Lépante and Digne lakes, stratification S0 and fabric n-11 both seem to be transposed into the Sn fabric or at least reoriented almost parallel to Sn. At the western end of the domain, where the UEGB ends, there is an angularity between fabrics Sn-1 and Sn. This angularity exists as the result of the succession of regional fold hinges Pn. Both foliations Sn-1 and Sn are present at outcrops 18-AB-1044 and 18-MP-5127. In the hinge of the regional synform Pn (Oriental Anticline), the Sn-1 fabric varies from 030° to 310°. It is folded by a Pn fold which Pn axial plane fabric is oriented WSW-ENE. In the Bohier Island area, the Sn-1 fabric and stretch lineation Ln-1 have been clearly identified in the centre of Bohier Island, in the nodular paraschist unit (nAbh1a) (Beauchamp et al., 2018).

2) Late Fabrics

Fabric Sn+1: Foliation Sn is repeated by a crenulation cleavage Sn-1. The Sn-1 fabric is clearly visible on most conglomerate outcrops and on some basalt outcrops. It consists of crenulation cleavage with flattening planes spaced ~1 cm apart and oriented NNE-SSW. Pn+1 folds having NNE-SSW axial planes form Z-shaped structures (outcrops 18-MP-5030, 18-AB-1084, 18-SG-7023, 18-SG-7024, 18-FM-2018 and 18-LP-6027).


❯ Folds

The western end of the Dolent Structural Domain is affected by a succession of several open to isoclinal regional folds Pn. Reverse polarities in pillow basalts of the Dolent Formation indicate increasingly younger layers on either side of the Oriental Anticline. The Branche Ouest Syncline passes in the middle of sedimentary rocks of the Bohier Group. Magnetic field maps reveal, locally in the domain, geometries that could be the result of at least two folding phases, which is confirmed by the folded trajectories of foliation Sn. Pn folds are folded by Pn+1 folds of NE-SW to NNE-SSW axial plane, subparallel to schistosity Sn+1. At the outcrop scale, Pn+1 folds are chevron folds commonly Z-shaped.

Geometric Parameters of Regional Folds: 

Fold or Family of Folds Type (Anticline, Syncline or Undetermined) Shape (Antiform or Synform) Attitude (Overturned or Upright) Axial Plane Fold Axis Position (Certain or Probable) Deformation Phase Comments
Direction Dip Direction Dip
Fold Pn Syncline and anticline Antiform and synform Upright and overturned E-W – ENE-WSW NE Probable and certain Dn Open to isoclinal folds
Fold Pn+1 Undetermined Unknown Upright and overturned NE-SW – NNE-SSW Probable and certain Dn+1 Chevron, kink and Z folds


❯ Crosscutting Relationships

The existence of very detailed magnetic maps in the Dolent Structural Domain (Wade et al., 2014) has allowed mapping numerous fragile faults. These families of conjugated faults offset rocks in a dextral or sinistral manner. Field evidence corroborates the presence of faults and indicates that these fractures are characterized by steep dips. Families of conjugated diaclases with displacements of a few centimetres to ~ 1 dm have been observed on several outcrops.

Geometric Parameters of Regional Faults Cutting the Dolent Structural Domain:

Fault or Family of Faults Type Mean Direction (°) Mean Dip (°) Lineation Plunge in the Fault Plane Estimated Width (m) Estimated Length (km) Apparent Movement Position Comments
Family of faults Fractures NNW-SSE Steep Unknown <1 >1 Dextral Certain and probable  
Family of faults Fractures WNW-ESE Steep Unknown <1 >1 Sinistral Certain and probable  
Family of faults Fractures NE-SW Steep Unknown <1 >1 Sinistral Certain and probable  


❯ Kinematics

Does not apply.


Deformation Style

The Dolent Structural Domain has a complex structural architecture. The first phase of deformation Dn-1, with associated foliation Sn-1, is globally oriented ENE-WSW. This deformation phase seems to have led to the development of domes exposing plutonic rocks and synclines preserving volcano-sedimentary sequences. In the Cadieux Lake area, exhumation of the Misasque Complex and Digne Pluton within a dome would then have led to early folding of the overlying Dolent Formation. Vertical movements during Dn-1 would also have been accommodated by shear zones located at the interface between the domes’ gneisso-plutonic packages and the synclines’ supracrustal units (e.g. the Digne Shear Zone).

Subsequently, during deformation phase Dn, an episode of NNW-SSE shortening would have prolonged the subsidence of the supracrustal sequence in an ENE-WSW syncline, filled by the Bohier Group. At the edge of this basin, ENE-WSW shear zones appear to have contributed to the burial of supracrustal rocks. However, NNW-SSE shortening also resulted in the lateral flow of deeper crustal domains, such as the Misasque dome. This flow would have led to parallelization of Pn-1 fold axes and mineral and stretch lineation Ln in a NE-plunging direction and to the overturning of the lithostratigraphic pile at the SW end of the Misasque dome (see the interpretative model of the Cadieux Lake Geological Bulletin; Beauchamp, 2019).

Finally, deformation phase Dn+1 would have folded previous fabrics, but could represent a late increment related to the main deformation episode Dn.


Metamorphic Characteristics

Supracrustal rocks of the Dolent Structural Domain have reached the amphibolite facies. Mafic units nAdln1 and nAdln2 of the Dolent Formation are composed of a typical HB-PG-EP ± SN assemblage. Actinolite and clinopyroxene are present locally and indicate reaching the lower and upper amphibolite facies respectively. Mafic-ultramafic sills (nAdln3) are mainly composed of amphiboles (± HB ± CG ± AC), plagioclase and several retrograde minerals (EP ± TC ± CL ± BO). Finally, volcanics and ultramafic sills (nAdln4) are characterized by prograde TM-MG ± OV and retrograde ST-TC-CL assemblages.



Does not apply.


Geophysical Characteristics

Maps of the vertical gradient of the total magnetic field from SIGÉOM and Wade et al. (2014) indicate that this domain is heterogeneous in terms of magnetic susceptibility. Rocks of the UEGB are characterized by a banded magnetic structure and weak to strong magnetic contrasts. Basalts of the Dolent Formation and conglomerates of the Bohier Group generally do not contain magnetite, and thus correspond to zones of low magnetic susceptibility. Thin strips characterized by positive magnetic anomalies correspond to more or less continuous layers of ultramafic volcanic rocks and mafic-ultramafic sills of the Dolent Formation. Magnetic and topographic lineaments of this domain are clearly superimposed on Sn foliation trajectories. Magnetic lineaments are straight and continuous between Lépante Lake and Digne Lake. They are sharply cut to the south by rocks of the Cadieux Suite which are characterized by a very high magnetic susceptibility. At the western end of the UEGB, lineaments are curved and indicate the closure of a synformal anticlinal fold Pn that folds the Sn-1 fabric.


Chronological Markers

A wacke paragneiss sample belonging to the Laguiche Complex (16-HH-1654-A, sheet 33A10) was dated. Monazite in this sample yielded a uniform age of 2692 ±6 Ma (Davis and Sutcliffe, 2018a), which represents the metamorphic age and the minimum age of deposition of sedimentary rocks. These ages appear to date the metamorphic episode associated with partial melting of sedimentary rocks of the Sedimentary Complex, and could therefore date deformation phase Dn.

Since the MacLeod Batholith (2704 ±2 Ma, Davis, 2019) and the Cadieux Suite (2700 ±3 – 2699 ±5 Ma, Davis, 2019; Davis and Sutcliffe, 2018b) are foliated by the Sn fabric, their emplacement is prior to or synchronous with deformation Dn. Their age of crystallization could date the beginning of deformation phase Dn. Deformation Dn is earlier than 2640 Ma (Davis and Sutcliffe, 2018a), corresponding to the age of the Wahemen Suite, which is unaffected by deformation and metamorphism.



Publications Available Through Sigéom Examine

BEAUCHAMP, A M., MASSEI, F., DAOUDENE, Y. 2018. Géologie de la région de l’île Bohier, au contact entre les sous-provinces d’Opatica, d’Opinaca et le bassin d’Otish, au nord de Mistissini, Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, Québec, Canada. MERN. BG 2018-02, 2 plans.

BEAUCHAMP, A M. 2019. Géologie et potentiel minéral de la région du lac Cadieux, sous-provinces d’Opatica et d’Opinaca, Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, Québec, Canada. MERN. BG 2019-02, 2 plans.

DAVIS, D W. 2019. Rapport sur les datations U-Pb de roches du Québec 2018-2019, projets Lac Cadieux et Lac Watts. UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO. MB 2019-09, 82 pages.

DAVIS, D W., SUTCLIFFE, C N. 2018a. U-Pb Geochronology of Zircon and Monazite by LA-ICPMS in samples from northern Quebec. UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO. MB 2018-18, 54 pages.

DAVIS, D W., SUTCLIFFE, C N. 2018b. U-Pb Geochronology of Zircon and Monazite by LA-ICPMS in Samples from Northern Quebec. UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO. MB 2019-01, 113 pages.



Suggested Citation

Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles (MERN). Dolent Structural Domain. Quebec Structural Lexicon. [accessed on Day Month Year].





First publication

Anne-Marie Beauchamp, P. Geo., M.Sc. (redaction)

Ghyslain Roy, P. Geo. (coordination); Patrice Roy, P. Geo., Ph.D. (critical review); Simon Auclair, P. Geo., M.Sc. (editing); Ricardo Escobar (HTML editing); Céline Dupuis, P. Geo., Ph.D. (English version) 

15 février 2021