Evolution of the Jura-Cretaceous North American Cordilleran margin: Insights from detrital-zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopes of sedimentary units of the North Cascades Range, Washington
AuthorSauer, Kirsten B.
Gordon, Stacia M.
Miller, Robert B.
Vervoort, Jeffrey D.
Fisher, Christopher M.
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The U-Pb age and Hf-isotope composition of detrital zircons from Jurassic to Upper Cretaceous sedimentary rocks adjacent to the southern North Cascades- Coast Plutonic Complex continental magmatic arc document shifting provenance, the tectonic evolution of the arc system, and translation along the continental margin. Systematic changes in the detrital-zircon data provide insight that the western margin of North America evolved from: marginal basins adjacent to continent-fringing oceanic arcs (ca. 160-140 Ma)forearc basins adjacent to mid-Cretaceous (ca. 120-90 Ma) Andean-type continental arcsand addition of a cratonic source to forearc and accretionary wedge units to Cordilleran arc systems in the mid-Late Cretaceous (ca. 85 Ma). Jurassic Methow terrane, Nooksack Formation, and western melange belt units dominantly contain detrital zircons derived from accreted oceanic terranes, whereas Lower Cretaceous strata from the same units have age peaks that correspond to known pulses of magmatism in Cordilleran continental magmatic arc systems. The age peaks and Hf-isotope signature of the Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous strata are comparable to multiple sources exposed along the margin. In contrast, the Upper Cretaceous western melange belt has distinct Precambrian zircon populations and unradiogenic Late Cretaceous zircons that are more similar to southwestern than northwestern Laurentian sources. Statistical comparisons confirm provenance similarities between rocks of the North Cascades and those 700-2000 km to the south and, thus, support margin-parallel translation from as far as the latitude of southern California.
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