Abstract

Middle Proterozoic (~1500–1350 Ma) Belt–Purcell strata exposed in the Purcell and southwestern Rocky Mountains were affected by at least three distinct episodes of deformation and regional metamorphism. The oldest episode (1300–1350 Ma) apparently terminated Belt–Purcell sedimentation and involved folding, regional metamorphism, and granitic intrusion. The second episode (800–900 Ma) occurred during deposition of the Windermere Supergroup and involved uplift, block faulting, and low-grade regional metamorphism. Mesozoic–Cenozoic metamorphism, deformation, and plutonism overprinted the results of the earlier deformation and metamorphism.Illite crystallinity and muscovite polymorph ratios indicate that Purcell strata in the Mount Fisher area are in the lower green-schist to prehnite–pumpellyite facies of regional metamorphism. In the Steeples and Fisher blocks this metamorphism is related to structures that formed during the Late Cretaceous – Paleocene deformation. However, in the Sand Creek block the regional metamorphism is related to the development of a spaced cleavage that is folded by a Late Cretaceous – Paleocene nappe. Regional considerations suggest that this cleavage formed during the 1300–1350 Ma episode of deformation and metamorphism.The "East Kootenay orogeny" as currently defined embraces the two older episodes of tectonism. It is proposed that the term East Kootenay orogeny be restricted to designate the 1300–1350 Ma episode and that the term "Goat River orogeny" designate the 800–900 Ma episode of tectonism. The East Kootenay and Goat River orogenies appear to be correlative with the Racklan and Hayhook orogenies recognized in the northern Canadian Cordillera.

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