Abstract

The Hozameen Fault of southwestern British Columbia is associated with the Coquihalla serpentine belt and separates two distinct crustal units. Northeast of the fault are greenstones of the Early Triassic (?) Spider Peak Formation, which are unconformably overlain by Jurassic to Cretaceous turbidite and successor basin deposits of the Pasayten Trough. The oldest sedimentary rocks in the trough, the Ladner Group, contain a locally developed basal unit that hosts the Carolin mine gold orebody. Southwest of the fault, the Permian to Jurassic Hozameen Group represents a dismembered ophiolite succession comprising ultramafic rocks of the Petch Creek serpentine belt, overlain in turn by greenstone and chert units. The greenstones in the Hozameen Group and the Spider Peak Formation are geochemically distinguishable; the latter represent sodic, ocean-floor, subalkaline basalts formed in a spreading ridge environment, while the former include both arc tholeiites and oceanic island–seamount subalkaline basalts.Farther west, the major Petch Creek Fault separates the Hozameen Group from the Custer–Skagit Gneiss. This fault is locally associated with the Petch Creek serpentine belt and is considered to be a northern extension of the Ross Lake Fault of Washington State.The rocks in the Hozameen Group, Spider Peak Formation, and Pasayten Trough were probably deposited within a single basin that initiated as an extensive, multirifted, marginal back-arc basin and eventually evolved into the steadily narrowing Pasayten Trough.Following Early to Middle Cretaceous closure of the Pasayten Trough, oblique, easterly-directed movement along westerly-dipping thrusts caused the Custer–Skagit Gneiss to override the Hozameen Group, which in turn overrode rocks of the Pasayten Trough farther east; these boundary thrusts formed precursor structures for the Hozameen and Petch Creek faults. Ultramafic basement material underlying the Spider Peak Formation and the Hozameen Group was thrust up the bounding fractures, producing the Coquihalla and Petch Creek serpentine belts, respectively.Large-scale dextral transcurrent displacement, possibly related to movement along the Fraser Fault system, occurred subsequently along the Petch Creek and Hozameen faults. This wrench movement was preceded by the Mid-Eocene (?) intrusion of the Needle Peak pluton and was followed by emplacement of the 16–35 Ma Chilliwack batholith.

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