Abstract

The western margin of the Coast Plutonic Complex, one of the major tectonic boundaries of the Canadian Cordillera, has been variously interpreted as an intrusive contact, a shear zone, and a suture zone joining the Early Mesozoic Insular Belt to the North American continent. A representative section of this boundary, exposed on islands in Johnstone Strait, is an intrusive contact along which a quartz diorite with peripheral mafic phases truncates Early Mesozoic sediments and volcanics of the Insular Belt. Concordant hornblende–biotite pairs and two whole rock biotite isochrons date the intrusion as Late Jurassic (151 Ma). Prior to intrusion the stratified units underwent prehnite–pumpellyite facies metamorphism and west-northwest block faulting.The contact aureole of the quartz diorite and its associated mafic phases involves greenschist and hornblende–hornfels facies assemblages. Total pressure in the upper Karmutsen Formation during contact metamorphism was less than 2.5 × 105 kPa. The maximum contact temperature was between 670 and 700 °C. Forcible emplacement of the intrusion caused penetrative deformation of wall rocks in the inner aureole. The maximum contact temperatures indicate that the plutonic bodies were at near-liquidus temperatures when emplaced.The contact on Hardwicke and West Thurlow Islands appears representative of most of the tectonic boundary between the southern Coast Plutonic Complex and the Insular Belt. The western margin of the Coast Plutonic Complex is thus a Late Mesozoic magmatic front, the western limit of the intense magmatism that generated the Coast Plutonic Complex. The formation of Georgia Depression over the province boundary was a later event, coeval with major uplift of the Coast Plutonic Complex.

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