Abstract

Sinemurian phosphorites in southeastern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta conform with the "West Coast type" phosphorite depositional model. The model indicates that they were deposited on or near the Early Jurassic western cratonic margin, next to a sea or trough from which cold water upwelled. This suggests that the allochthonous terrane Quesnellia lay well offshore in Sinemurian time. The sea separating Quesnellia from North America was partly floored by oceanic crust ("Eastern Terrane") and partly by a thick sequence of rifted, continental terrace wedge rocks comprising the Purcell Supergroup and overlying Paleozoic sequence. This sequence must have been depressed sufficiently that access of upwelling deep currents to the phosphorite depositional area was not impeded.

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