Abstract

Paleogeographic maps for the clastic successions of Early Jurassic, Late Jurassic – Early Cretaceous, and Late Cretaceous – early Tertiary time depict important geologic features that have to be considered in modelling of the Mesozoic sedimentary basins of the Canadian Cordillera. The relative positions of clastic basins, reverse fault zones, and volcanic complexes suggest that the crustal elements underlying the western Cordillera were foreshortened and thickened increasingly from early Mesozoic to early Tertiary. Throughout the late Mesozoic the Canadian Cordillera displayed subdued topography. Uplift was dramatic and possibly of Andean proportions during the latest Eocene and Oligocene. Reconstruction of paleogeography along major right-lateral faults suggests the possibility that old basement trends of the cratonic foreland may have had a profound influence on structures west of the Rocky Mountains. In terms of plate tectonics the Mesozoic basins of the Canadian Cordillera are marginal or possibly intra-arc basins, and cannot be compared easily with the presumed forearc basin containing the late Mesozoic Great Valley Sequence of California.

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