Transfer of Metasupracrustal Rocks to Midcrustal Depths in the North Cascades Continental Magmatic Arc, Skagit Gneiss Complex, Washington
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The metasupracrustal units within the north central Chelan block of the North Cascades Range, Washington, are investigated to determine mechanisms and timescales of supracrustal rock incorporation into the deep crust of continental magmatic arcs. Zircon U-Pb and Hf-isotope analyses were used to characterize the protoliths of metasedimentary and metaigneous rocks from the Skagit Gneiss Complex, metasupracrustal rocks from the Cascade River Schist, and metavolcanic rocks from the Napeequa Schist. Skagit Gneiss Complex metasedimentary rocks have (1) a wide range of zircon U-Pb dates from Proterozoic to latest Cretaceous and (2) a more limited range of dates, from Late Triassic to latest Cretaceous, and a lack of Proterozoic dates. Two samples from the Cascade River Schist are characterized by Late Cretaceous protoliths. Amphibolites from the Napeequa Schist have Late Triassic protoliths. Similarities between the Skagit Gneiss metasediments and accretionary wedge and forearc sediments in northwestern Washington and Southern California indicate that the protolith for these units was likely deposited in a forearc basin and/or accretionary wedge in the Early to Late Cretaceous (circa 134-79Ma). Sediment was likely underthrust into the active arc by circa 74-65Ma, as soon as 7Ma after deposition, and intruded by voluminous magmas. The incorporation of metasupracrustal units aligns with the timing of major arc magmatism in the North Cascades (circa 79-60Ma) and may indicate a link between the burial of sediments and pluton emplacement.
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