Abstract

Several lower Mesozoic, fault-bounded units separate the Intermontane and Insular superterranes in southwestern British Columbia. Detailed study of one of these Mesozoic units, the Cadwallader Group, helps clarify the boundary between the superterranes and establish the tectonic evolution of southwestern British Columbia. The Cadwallader Group is the oldest unit in an Upper Triassic through Middle Jurassic volcanic and sedimentary tectono-stratigraphic terrane. Two formations, the Pioneer and the Hurley, compose the Cadwallader Group; the previously recognized Noel Formation is no longer considered valid. The Pioneer Formation contains pillow basalt, flows, and basalt breccia. Siltstone, sandstone, conglomerate, and minor amounts of limestone megabreccia and basalt belonging to the Hurley Formation conformably overlie the Pioneer. The Hurley spans latest Carnian or earliest Norian to middle Norian time. Two episodes of deformation affected the Cadwallader, and a thrust fault separates the group from slightly younger clastic rocks of the Tyaughton Group. Similarities in clastic rocks indicate the Tyaughton was deposited on the Cadwallader; together the units form the Cadwallader terrane. Basalts and clastic rocks in the terrane record deposition in or near a Carnian to earliest Norian volcanic arc. Volcanism waned later in the Norian, but presence of the arc is preserved in the clastic rocks.Oceanic rocks of the Middle Triassic to Middle Jurassic Bridge River terrane became juxtaposed with the Cadwallader terrane in Middle Jurassic time, after which the terranes functioned as a single tectonic block. Contrasting volcanic histories suggest that the Cadwallader terrane was not accreted to the Intermontane superterrane until Middle Jurassic or Early Cretaceous time, although the similar tectonic settings of Stikinia and the Cadwallader terrane allow a common earlier history. The Cadwallader terrane is not part of either the Alexander terrane or Wrangellia, and so the inboard margin of the Insular superterrane must lie west of the Cadwallader terrane.

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