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The Canadian Cordillera
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In its simplest form the Canadian Cordillera has been represented as a bisymmetrical unit composed of three tectonic zones:
Western Cordilleran Fold Belt | Intermontane zone | Eastern Cordilleran Fold Belt
Subdivided further into:
Insular Zone Eastern Marginal Zone
The Core zone, commonly also known as the Omineca Geanticline, merges at its northern end with the Yukon-Tanana Platform, a structural unit which to the west of the Intermontane zone can be traced southwards into the Coast Crystalline complex.
The relative plate tectonic evolution of these three tectonic elements remains one of the major 'unknowns' of Cordilleran and Canadian geology.
In terms of the concept of 'suspect terranes', the Cordillera is now recognized as an accretionary complex composed, from east to west, of the following native and accreted terranes:
1) The North American craton and its cover of deformed Phanerozoic sediments (oil bearing).
2) North American craton rocks forming uplifted core complexes within the Omineca
- the Monashee
3) Displaced continental margin rocks
- the Cassiar (north) and Cariboo (south)
4) Pericratonic terranes
- Kootenay: Barkerville (south), Nisutlin, Yukon-Tanana (north), and Nisling? (west)
5) Intermontane Superterrane
Slide Mountain Ocean (East), Quesnellia arc, Cache Creek ocean, Stikinia arc (West)
6) Coast Belt
a) Southern Cordillera - Methow (East);Bridge River/Hozameen (= Cache Creek?), Cadwallader,
b) Northern West Coast - Taku
7) Insular Superterrane
a) Inner - Alexander (East) Wrangellia (West)
b) Outer - Chugach (East), Yakutat (West)
Terrane Map of the Canadian Cordillera - cord2terr1.jpg
Simplified terrane map of the Cordillera
A detailed but incomprehensible grey scale map of the Canadian Cordillera - cord2mapcan.jpgThe Pericratonic terranes contain volcanic and continental derived sedimentary rocks laid down during early Phanerzoic rifting of the western margin of North America They have a late Proterozoic to Paleozoic history of deformation and plutonism.
Geological Time Chart, Phanerozoic, GSC-1999
Geological Time Chart: Triassic-Jurassic, GSC-1999
Middle Jurrassic to Paleogene tectonic events in the Canadian Cordillera - cord2terr2.jpgCLICK HERE TO GO TO THE TAYLOR LIBRARY
The continental margin miogeoclinal rocks (Ketchika basin) of the Cordilleran SystemFerri, Filippo, Rees, Chris, Nelson, JoAnne, Legun, Andrew, Orchard, M-J, Norford, B-S, Fritz, W-H, Mortensen, J.K, Gabites, J-E, 1999. Geology and mineral deposits of the northern Kechika Trough between Gataga River and the 60th parallel. Bulletin - British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines, Energy and Minerals Division, Geological Survey Branch. 107, 122 p., 2 sheets.
Smith, M. Gehrels, G., 1994, Detrital
zircon geochronology and the provenance of the Harmony and Valmy formations,
Robert Mountains allochthon, Nevada: BGSA, 106, 7, 968-979.
Abstract- Valmy zircons - 2 of 1050, 4 of 1830-1845, 5 of 1910-1960, 2 of 2270-2340, 8 of 2650-2750, 1 of 2900 and discordant ages 1 of 2070 1 of 3240; derivation from the North, Slave Craton and Medicine Hat province and central/northern Alberta; Valmy is Ordovician volcanic bearing equivalent of the Eurekea Quartzite of the shelf miogeocline; Harmony Fm is Upper Cambrian and immature, zircons - 9 of 695-710, 12 of 1015-1225, 2 of 1330, 1 of 1745, 1 of 1915, 1 of 2570; the c 700 and c 1100 have no western North American basement source; five foliated intrusive bodies spatially associated primarily with the Windermere Supergroup and Yukon-Tanana terrane , as well as one extrusive unit Mount Harper rhyolite in the Ogilvie Mountains 751+26-18, yield ages in the 670-750 range. Two 680 orthgneiss bodies occur in the Seward Peninsula;evidence for Grenville age basement includes clasts and xenoliths entrained in two diatremes and a monazite age from a breccia pipe; Pahrump sills of Death Valley are 1069 1087 and sills in the Apache quartzite of Arizona are 1150 Ma.
What is the Monashee?James L. Crowley, 2001. U-Pb geochronologic constraints on Paleoproterozoic tectonism in the Monashee complex, Canadian Cordillera: Elucidating an overprinted geologic history Canada.Geological Society of America Bulletin: Vol. 111, No. 4, pp. 560–577.
What is the age, source, and nature of Slide Mountain rocks?Nelson, J.L., 1993. The Sylvester Allochthon: Upper Paleozoic marginal-basin and island arc terranes in northern British Columbia. CJES, 30, 631-643.
Roback, R.C., Sevigny, J.H., and Walker, N.W., 1994.
Tectonic setting of the Slide Mountain terrane, southern British Columbia.
Tectonics, 13, 5, 1242-1258.
Abstract - SMT consists of fine grained quartzose clastic rocks, limestone and lesser amounts of conglomerate and volcanic rocks of the Carboniferous McHardy assemblage conformably overlain by the Permian Kaslo Group ultramafic, volcanic and sedimentary rocks. Kalso volcanics are MORB. McHardy conglomerates contain clasts of Silurian granitoid rocks, and detrital zircons in the McHardy are 1.7 to 3.1 Ga, similar to ages of zircons in the Kootenay and miogeoclinal sediments. The SMT is unconformably overlain by Late Triassic fined grained sedimentary rocks of the Slocan Group of the Quesnellia terrane (Monger and Berg, 1987). The Slide Mountain may therefore be in part a 'native' foreland basin assemblage, rather than an exotic section of oceanic crust.
1998. Tectonic control and biotic change at the Permian-Triassic (P-T)
and Dienerian-Smithian (D-S) sequence boundaries, Western Canada.
Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America. 30, 7, p.
Abstract - Permian and Lower Triassic strata in western Canada are difficult to correlate because of major thickness and lithofacies variations and the scarcity of index fossils. However, sequence biostratigraphic analysis using conodonts, has resulted in the development of a complex tectono-stratigraphic history for the cratonic margin of northwestern Pangea. At least five third-order sequences are recognized for the Permian and Lower Triassic of western Canada. A thin Upper Asselian/Lower Sakmarian sequence, is sporadically distributed as a result of sub-Permian tectonic uplift and buckling on the craton margin. The remaining two Permian sequences (Artinskian-Lower Kungurian and Roadian-Wordian) are more widespread and are characterized by condensed sedimentation and decreasing biotic diversity that point to a protracted extinction interval. A low diversity Upper Permian fauna is dominated by siliceous sponges and associated with dropstones, suggesting that climatic cooling as well as the subsequent regression were important contributing factors to the P-T extinction locally. Truncation of various Upper Paleozoic units and localized distribution of latest Permian and earliest Triassic strata indicates another major tectonic uplift and buckling event that correlates with the Sonoman Orogeny, immediately before the Permian-Triassic biostratigraphic boundary. A relatively thick latest Changhsingian to Dienerian sequence includes a very low diversity fauna and few ichnotaxa. The D-S sequence boundary has a comparable tectonic signature that isolated overlying biotic accumulations, forming important reservoir units in the region. Evidence supports emplacement of allochthonous terranes (Slide Mt.) onto pericratonic terranes (Kootenay) and imbrication of Upper Permian rocks beginning in pre-Late Triassic time. Therefore, it is probable that tectonic stress buildup and release events associated with major plate reorganizations or interaction between the craton margin and pericratonic and allochthonous terranes controlled these northwestern Pangea sequence boundaries and influenced biotic extinction and migration patterns.
L.C. and Orchard, M.J., 1985. Late Paleozoic conodonts from ribbon chert
delineate imbricate thrusts within
the Antler Formation of the Slide Mountain terrane, central British Columbia. Geology, v. 13, no. 11, pp. 794-798.
Structural relationship of the Slide Mountain, Cariboo and Quenelle terranes - cord2struik.jpg
Is Quesnellia 'exotic' or 'native'?Armstrong, R.L. and Ghosh, D.K. 1990. Westward movement of the 87Sr/86Sr=0.704 line in southern B.C. from Triassic to Eocene time: monitoring the tectonic overlap of accreted terranes on North America. GAC Abst. w. Prog., Vancouver, pA4.
Smith, A.D. and Lambert, R.S., 1995.
Nd, Sr, Pb isotopic evidence for contrasting origins of late Paleozoic
volcanic rocks from the Slide Mountain and Cache Creek terranes, south-central
British Columbia. CJES, 32, 447-459.
Map of sample areas in the Fennel allochton (Slide Mountain) and southern Cache Creek terranes - cord2smith1.jpg
Comment - Slide Mountain Fennell Fm Late Pennsylvanian basalts resemble MORB but have kaersutite or augite dominated mineralogies; EpND300 = +7.7 to +10.2. Pb isotope values favour a marginal basin rathern than a back arc. Cache Creek of the Bonaparte subterrane (middle Mississippian?) are within-plate. EpNd340 = +4.2-+5.6, and lead shows a transition towards DUPAL signatures. Baslatic andesite and andesitic tuffs, also found in the Bonaparte subterrane, are tentatively correlated with Late Triassic to Early Jurassic low-K tholeiite of the Nicola Group of Quesnellia.
Smith, A.D., Brandon, A.D., and
Lambert, StJ., 1995. Nd-Sr isotope systematics of Nicola Group volcanic
rocks, Quesnel terrane. CJES, 32, 4, 437-446.
Comment - EpsilonNd3\222 = +5.1 - +7.8 = early Mesozoic island arcs; +5 - +7.9 for picrite -shoshonite samples.
Ferri, F., 1997. Nina Creek Group
and Lay Range assemblage, north-central British Columbia: remnants of late
Paleozoic oceanic and arc terranes. CJES, 34, 853-874.
comment: volcanic rocks are MORB with no interbedded arc rock types.
of Slide Mountain and Harper Ranch terranes along the length of the Cordillera
Map of the Nina Creek area - cord2ferri2.jpg
Stratigraphy of the Nina Creek Group and Lay Range assemblage - cord2ferri3.jpg
Spidergrams for the Nina Creek Group and Lay Range assemblage - cord2ferri4.jpg
Plate tectonic model with Slide Mountain as a back arc basin - cord2ferri5.jpg
Erdmer, P. Thompson, R. I., and
Daughtry, K. L., 1999. Pericratonic Paleozoic succession in Vernon and
Ashcroft map areas, British Columbia. In: Cordillera and Pacific margin/
Interior Plains and Arctic Canada. Current Research - Geological Survey
of Canada. 205-213.
Comment: Ductilely deformed and metamorphosed pericratonic rocks of inferred Early Paleozoic age overlie the
Neoproterozoic-Eocambrian Silver Creek schist in the Vernon map area along an apparent stratigraphic contact. Permian (Harper Ranch Group) and Triassic (Nicola Group and Slocan Formation) strata overlie the pericratonic succession along an unconformable depositional contact. The pericratonic succession, long recognized to include amphibolitic schist, marble, and quartzite, includes in addition to these a distinctive metaconglomerate, and forms a robust regional marker. The tripartite regional stratigraphy and its inferred Proterozoic or older depositional basement cross the Okanagan Valley without apparent offset, and persist for at least 100 km westward, as far as the Nicola horst. The pericratonic succession underlies rocks presently assigned to the Quesnellia terrane at this latitude.
Eocambrian granite clasts in southern British Columbia
shed light on Cordilleran hinterland crust Philippe Erdmer, Larry
Heaman, Robert A. Creaser, Robert I. Thompson, and Ken L. Daughtry
Can. J. Earth Sci./Rev. Can. Sci. Terre 38(7): 1007-1016
The Spa Creek assemblage is a distinctive thin pericratonic succession that crosses the Okanagan Valley in the hinterland of the southern Cordilleran Orogen in Canada. The succession was ductilely deformed and metamorphosed before deposition of overlying Triassic dark metaclastic strata. A metaconglomerate within the succession, locally composed of more than 90% biotite granite clasts, yielded five fractions of euhedral zircon that define a precise U–Pb upper intercept of 555.6 ± 2.5 Ma, inferred to be the age of a nearby pluton. Other clasts in the metaconglomerate are generally more abundant, consisting of quartzite, amphibole schist, chlorite schist, sericite schist, biotite schist, and quartz–feldspar porphyry. They are likely host rocks of the pluton and, if so, are Late Proterozoic or older. The granite is interpreted as a terminal product of the Eocambrian rifting that preceded Paleozoic miogeoclinal sedimentation farther inboard. The continuity of pericratonic rocks west of the miogeocline and the occurrence of Proterozoic cratonic rocks at the surface west of the Okanagan Valley show that the ancient continental margin extends into a region where most of the crustal lithosphere was until now thought to consist of accreted Phanerozoic arc and accretionary complexes.
Western extent of the eastern Cordillera beneath Quesnellia - cordspacreek.jpg
Nature of the basement to Quesnel Terrane near Christina
Lake, southeastern British Columbia S.L. Acton, P.S. Simony, and L.M. Heaman,
Can. J. Earth Sci., 39(1), p. 65-78
The character of the Paleozoic basement of Quesnel Terrane and the position of the terrane accretion surface that separates Quesnel and Kootenay terranes from rocks of the ancient North American margin are subjects of debate. To address these problems, detailed mapping and U–Pb geochronologic studies were carried out in the Christina Lake area to define the relationship of the Mollie Creek assemblage, Josh Creek diorite, and Fife diorite to similar lithologies in the Greenwood – Grand Forks and Rossland regions, and to place limits on the ages of regional deformation and local position of the terrane accretion surface. Deformed metasedimentary rocks of the Mollie Creek assemblage may correlate with sedimentary rocks of the Pennsylvanian to Early Triassic Mount Roberts Formation in the Rossland area. The Mollie Creek assemblage is intruded by the foliated Late Triassic Josh Creek diorite. The Josh Creek diorite and Mollie Creek assemblage have been deformed together as a result of phase two deformation, following the intrusion of the Josh Creek diorite in the Late Triassic and prior to the intrusion of the Fife diorite and deposition of the overlying Rossland Group in the Early Jurassic. Based on relative age, structural position, and lithological similarities to other units within Quesnel Terrane, the Mollie Creek assemblage, Josh Creek diorite, and Fife diorite are a part of Quesnel Terrane and lie above the terrane accretion surface in theChristina Lake area. Therefore, Quesnel Terrane does not unconformably overlie basement rocks of known North American affinity in this region.
Relative disposition allochthonous and pericratonic terranes according to Acton et al. - cordchris1.jpg
Distribution of North American Precambrian crust within the Quesnel Terrane of the Southern Canadian Cordillera - cordchris2.jpg
Geological section across the Quesnel Terrane showing the horst structure of the Grand Forks - Kettle River Complex - cordchris3.jpg
What do the isotopic characteristics of Cordilleran terranes tell us about their origin?
Patchett, P. J. and Gehrels, G. E, 1998. Continental influence of Canadian
Cordilleran terranes from Nd isotopic study, and significance for
crustal growth processes. Journal of Geology. 106, 3, 269-280.
Comment - Nd isotopic data are presented for rocks of the terrane assembly that lies inboard of the Stikine terrane in the Canadian Cordillera of British Columbia and Yukon. These are, from most inboard outward: Cassiar, Kootenay, Slide Mountain, Quesnel, and Cache Creek terranes. They are regarded as documenting a transition from terranes whose evolution was closely tied to that of the North American continental margin out to far-traveled oceanic terranes. The results emphasize sedimentary rocks as indicators of tectonic position of the crustal fragments. Sedimentary rocks of the Cassiar and Kootenay terranes show a strong connection to miogeoclinal sediment sources. Argillites of Pennsylvanian-Permian age from a paleontologically controlled section in the Slide Mountain terrane are also consistent with sediment sources in the North American miogeocline. Igneous rocks of the Slide Mountain, Quesnel, and Cache Creek terranes show juvenile oceanic or arc origins based on epsilonNd values between +3 and +10, and are essentially identical with published results. Cache Creek and Quesnel terranes also contain sediments with positive epsilonNd values, suggesting a juvenile, ultimately volcanogenic, origin. Both terranes, however, also contain some Triassic and apparently Pennsylvanian-Permian sedimentary rocks with negative epsilonNd values between -5 and -7, like those of Devonian to Jurassic sedimentary rocks of the North American miogeocline. Possible explanations include proximity to sources of North American terrigenous sediment, expected in Triassic time, or very far-traveled fine-grained sediment in the form of hemipelagic clay or eolian dust for older samples. The addition of a continental sedimentary component to wide areas of the Cordillera represents an important point of comparison to Proterozoic orogens, where this component affected the isotopic signatures, but usually cannot be separately identified due to intense reprocessing during orogenesis.
and Russell, J.K. 1995. Nd-Sr-Pb isotopic studies of the southern Coast
Plutonic Complex, Southwestern British Columbia. BGSA, 107, 2, 127-138.
Abstract - Plutonic and volcanic rocks have EpNd values of +4.2 to +8.9. There are no significant variations in Nd or Sr isotopic composition with rock type or age. Many intrusions have isotopic compositions and TDM ages consistent with the combined effects of melting of mantle and mixing with subordinate istopically juvenile terranes, e.g. Wrangellia.
Samson, S.D., et al. 1989. Evidence from neodymium isotopes for mantle contributions to Phanerozoic crustal genesis in the Canadian Cordillera. Nature, 337, 705-709.
EpsilonNd characteristics of rocks from the Stikinia and Alexander terranes - cord2samson1.jpg
The age and tectonic environment of the rocks of the Stikinia terrane
Johannson-G.G.; Smith-P.L.; Gordey-S.P.,
1997. Early Jurassic evolution of the northern Stikinian Arc: evidence
from the Laberge Group, northwestern British Columbia. Canadian-Journal-of-Earth-Sciences.
34, 7, 1030-1057.
Abstract: This study resolves fundamental questions concerning the age, provenance, and depositional history of Laberge Group strata in the Whitehorse Trough. The Jurassic Inklin Formation straddles the Stikine and Cache Creek terranes along much of the length of the Whitehorse Trough. Ammonite biochronology indicates an age range of early Sinemurian to late Pliensbachian and provides the temporal framework for interpreting basin history. Strong temporal trends in both paleocurrent patterns and sandstone-conglomerate petrofacies allow definition of three discrete phases in basin-fill history. Stable tectonics characterized by relative volcanic quiescence and low sedimentation rates prevailed during the Sinemurian. Sinemurian sandstone-conglomerate petrofacies record a transitional-arc provenance derived from erosion of the Upper Triassic volcanic pile, flanking coastal sediments, and arc roots of Stikinia to the southwest. During the early Pliensbachian, arc dissection was interrupted by a major magmatic episode with widespread rejuvenated volcanism that caused a strong provenance shift to volcanigenic sources, indicating derivation from a largely undissected Stikinian arc. Southwest-derived, northerly longitudinal paleoflow during the Sinemurian changed to opposed bidirectional radial or transverse paleoflow systems in the early Pliensbachian. Cannibalism of broadly coeval basinal strata and/or reflected sediment gravity flows were the result of episodic growth of a mobile outer forearc rise, initiating southwest-directed paleoflow systems during the early Pliensbachian and the possible development of a ridged forearc phase. U-Pb dates of 186.6 -1/+-.5 and 186 +/- 1 Ma from a granite clast and tuff unit, respectively, of the Kunae Zone (early late Pliensbachian) and sandstone-conglomerate petrofacies indicate a late Pliensbachian depositional regime dominated by tectonic controls. The influx of granitic detritus indicates a rapid transition to a fully dissected arc provenance, where accelerated uplift of segments of the arc massif, accompanied by intra-arc strike-slip faulting, resulted in rapid arc dissection and unroofing of comagmatic Pliensbachian plutons.
The Cache Creek Terrane
Ghent, E.D., Erdmer, P., Archibald, D.A., and Stout, M.Z., 1996. Pressure-temperature and tectonic evolution of Triassic lawsonite-aragonite blueschists from Pinchi lake, British Columbia. CJES, 33, 800-810.
Hrudey-M-G; Struik-L-C; Whalen-J-B,
1999. Geology of the Taltapin Lake map area, central British Columbia.
In: Cordillera and Pacific margin/ Interior Plains and Arctic Canada--Cordillere
et marge du Pacifique/ Plaines interieures et regions arctiques du
Abstract: : The Taltapin Lake map area (93 K/6) is characterized by Permian to Jurassic Sitlika assemblage volcanic and sedimentary
rocks, the Late Triassic-Middle Jurassic Taltapin metamorphic complex of mainly amphibolite and strongly foliated to gneissic diorite, and Jurassic diorite to granite plutons of the Stag Lake and Francois Lake suites. Tertiary Ootsa Lake and Endako groups blanket older units, and are vesicular andesites, and basalts. Ootsa Lake Group also contains dacite, rhyolite, and rhyodacite breccia. The Permo-Triassic mafic Volcanic unit, and Triassic-Jurassic Eastern clastic unit of the Sitlika assemblage appear distinct lithologically, metamorphically, and structurally from Taltapin
metamorphic complex units. The Sitlika assemblage separates rocks of Cache Creek and Stikine terranes, hence Taltapin metamorphic complex is interpreted as a metamorphic equivalent of Stikine Terrane, rather than metamorphosed Cache Creek Terrane. The Taltapin metamorphic complex was deformed and metamorphosed prior to the Late Triassic. It was further metamorphosed and juxtaposed with Sitlika assemblage between the Late Triassic and Middle Jurassic.
Orchard-M-J; Struik-L-C; Taylor-H; Quat-M, 1999. Carboniferous-Triassic
conodont biostratigraphy, Nechako NATMAP Project area, central British
Columbia. In: Cordillera and Pacific margin/ Interior Plains and
Arctic Canada--Cordillere et marge du Pacifique/ Plaines interieures et
regions arctiques du Canada. Current Research - Geological Survey of Canada. 97-108.
Abstract: Fifty-seven new conodont collections from the Nechako NATMAP area contribute to a conodont biostratigraphic framework for the region. Most collections are from the Pope unit of the Cache Creek complex and are early Late Carboniferous (Bashkirian-Moscovian) to Middle Permian (Wordian). The most extensive carbonate buildup is Bashkirian-Moscovian, whereas latest Carboniferous to Permian limestone is much less common and Middle Permian buildups are known only in the north. The Sowchea clastic-volcanic unit is Late Permian to Late Triassic (Norian); it includes unique records of (?)Changshingian, Griesbachian, and Smithian fauna, and the first records of Middle Triassic Tethyan Gladigondolella in Canada. At two widely separated localities, breccia containing mixed conodont faunas show that Paleozoic and Triassic strata were reworked during or after the Late Triassic. Late Triassic conodonts are also reported from the Tezzeron unit and adjacent Takla Group of the Quesnellia terrane.
The 'exotic' nature of Stikinia and WrangelliaAberhan, M. 1999.Terrane history of the Canadian Cordillera: Estimating amounts of latitudinal displacement and rotation of Wrangellia and Stikinia.Geological-Magazine. 136, 5, 481-492.
Aberhan, M, 1998. Paleobiogeographic
patterns of pectinoid bivalves and the early Jurassic tectonic evolution
of western Canadian terranes. Palaios. ; 13(2): 129-148.
Asbtract: Utilizing new data from western Canada, the biogeography of Early Jurassic pectinoid bivalves along the eastern paleo-Pacific margin has been analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. The studied areas range from the Andean Basin in the southern hemisphere to the Sverdrup Basin of Arctic Canada and include major allochthonous terranes of western Canada. While the Andean Basin exhibits a mixed bivalve fauna of austral, bipolar, and low latitude-East Pacific forms, pectinoid bivalves from the Canadian craton are characterized by a high percentage of boreal and bipolar taxa. The western Canadian allochthonous terranes Wrangellia and Stikinia show a mixed influence of low latitude-East Pacific and boreal/bipolar forms until Pliensbachian times. During the Toarcian/Early Aalenian, taxa typical of low latitudes disappeared. This pattern of a latitudinally differentiated Early Jurassic bivalve fauna, which apparently is climatically controlled, seriously undermines the hypothesis of a uniform West American bivalve province. Based on diversity gradients, similarity coefficients, cluster analyses, and distributional patterns of characteristic taxa, biogeographic data have been used to constrain the latitudinal positions of Wrangellia and Stikinia through time. During the three analyzed time intervals (Hettangian/Sinemurian, Pliensbachian, and Toarcian/Early Aalenian), both terranes were in the northern hemisphere and in the eastern paleo-Pacific. During all of the Early Jurassic, Wrangellia and Stikinia were close together and were moving northward. Paleolatitudes corresponding to those of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin in Alberta were not reached before Toarcian times. By the end of the Early Jurassic, both terranes were in much the same latitudinal position relative to the craton as they are now. Consistent with biogeographic patterns are Early Jurassic latitudinal displacements of approximately 1300 km.
Symons-D.T.A.; Blackburn-W.H.; Hart-C.J.R., 1997. Paleomagnetic and geobarometric
study of the mid-Cretaceous Whitehorse Pluton, Yukon Territory. Canadian-Journal-of-Earth-Sciences.
34, 10, 1379-1391.
Abstract: This is the first of several Lithoprobe paleomagnetic studies underway to examine geotectonic motions in the northern Canadian Cordillera. Except for one controversial study, estimates for terranes underlying the Intermontane Belt in the Yukon have been extrapolated from studies in Alaska, southern British Columbia, and the northwestern United States. The Whitehorse Pluton is a large unmetamorphosed and undeformed tonalitic body of mid-Cretaceous age ( ~112 Ma) that was intruded into sedimentary units of the Whitehorse Trough in the Stikinia terrane. Geothermobarometric estimates for eight sites around the pluton indicate that postmagnetization tilting has been negligible since cooling through the hornblende-crystallization temperature and that the pluton is a high-level intrusion. Paleomagnetic measurements for 22 of 24 sites in the pluton yield a well-defined characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) direction that is steeply down and northwards. The ChRM direction gives a paleopole of 285.5 deg;E, 81.7 deg;N (dp/inf = 5.3 deg;, infm/inf = 5.7 deg;). When compared with the 112 Ma reference pole for the North American craton, this paleopole suggests that the northern Stikinia terrane has been translated northwards by 11.0 +/- 4.8 deg; (1220 +/- 530 km) and rotated clockwise by 59 +/-17 deg. Except for an estimate from the 70 Ma Carmacks Group volcanics, this translation and rotation estimate agrees well with previous estimates for units in the central and southern Intermontane Belt. They suggest that the terranes of the Intermontane Belt have behaved as a fairly coherent unit since the Early Cretaceous, moving northward at a minimum average rate of 2.3 +/- 0.4 cm/a between 140 and 45 Ma.
Distribution of Permian fusilinacean faunas in the Canadian Cordillera - cord2fusil1.jpg
Gabrielse-H., 1998. Geology of Cry
Lake and Dease Lake map areas, north-central British Columbia. Bulletin-of-the-Geological-Survey-of-Canada.
Abstract: Cry Lake and Dease Lake map areas include six well defined terranes each characterized by distinctive lithological assemblages of different ages, structural styes, and contained mineral deposits. Miogeoclinal strata of Ancestral North America range in age from Late Proterozoic to Early Mississippian. They have been intruded by voluminous Mesozoic and Cenozoic granitic rocks, in places associated with tungsten, lead, and zinc occurrences. The Slide Mountain Terrane contains Devonian to Permian rocks typical of oceanic and island are environments. The Kootenay(?) Terrane is characterized by strongly tectonized, mainly weakly metamorphosed, siliceous strata. Ultrabasic rocks have potential for jade occurrences and a few vein deposits of lead, zinc, gold, and silver have been explored. Rocks assigned to Quesnellia are of Mesozoic island arc lithologies. In one locality, granodiorite is host to an important copper deposit. Low grade nickel and chromite deposits are hosted by an Alaskan-type ultramafic body. The Cache Creek Terrane is dominantly oceanic in lithology but includes some assemblages of island arc or rift affinity. The terrane ranges in age from Devonian through Early Jurassic. Ultrabasic rocks host jade and asbestos deposits and are spatially related to numerous placer gold deposits. The island arc or rift volcanics host a large zinc and copper volcanogenic sulphide deposit. Rocks of Stikinia represent upper Paleozoic to Lower Jurassic island arc assemblages which are overlain by upper Mesozoic to Recent sedimentary and volcanic overlap assemblages. Copper, molybdenum, gold, lead, and zinc occurrences are found in the volcanic and plutonic rocks. Coal occurs locally in overlap sedimentary rocks.
The accretionary history of the Canadian Cordillera
Anderson, P.G.and Hodgson, C.J.,
1989. The structure and geological development of the Erickson gold mine,
Cassiar District, British Columbia, with implications for the origin of
mother-lod-type gold deposits. CJES, 26, 12, 2645-2660.
Comment - Slide Mountain ocean separates Quesnel arc from continent; amalgamation at 208 = Triassic Jurassic boundary; amalgamation of Stikine arc above an east dipping subduction zone at 180 = late Early Jurassic; amalgamation of Alexander at 130 = early Early Cretaceous.
The accretionary history of the Canadian Cordillera, Anderson and Hodgson, 1989 - cord2hodg1.jpg
The accretion of Wrangellia at the southern end of the Cordillera
On the following terrane map note the convergence of Wrangellia with Quesnellia at the expense of Stikinia at the southern end of the Cordillera.
Terrane Map of the Canadian Cordillera - cord2terr1.jpg
The following figure illustrates the structural/stratigraphic relationships between Wrangellia (Skagit gneiss), Stikinia (Hozameen), and the Methow arc built on the western leading edge of Quesnellia.
The Skagit-Methow crustal section at the southern end of the Canadian Cordillera - cord2meth1.jpg
The following figures illustrate the relationship between Wrangellia, Stikinia and Quesnellia in the Cascade region of Washington and British Columbia at the southern end of the Canadian Cordillera, as interpreted by M.F. McGroder (BGSA, 1991).
Regional tectonic map of the southern Canadian Cordillera/northwestern Washington - cord2mcgrod1.jpg
Regional cross section across the Southern Cordillera - cord2mcgrod2.jpg
Cross sections illustrating the development of the southern Canadian Cordillera - cord2mcgrod3.jpg
Paleogeographic setting of the southern Canadian Cordillera prior to the mid-Cretaceous orogeny - cord2mcgrod4.jpg
Structural Provinces of North America.
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