Abstract

Nd and Sr isotopic ratios are reported from 15 samples of plutons of the northern Coast Mountains batholith (CMB), between. the Alexander–Wrangellia terrane and the Stikine terrane of southeastern Alaska. Samples of plutons that are part of the Late Cretaceous – Eocene CMB suite have a range in initial εNd of −3.0 to −0.2 and 87Sr/86Sr of 0.70494–0.70607. There is no correlation of isotopic ratio with age, lithology, or geographic location of these plutons. Two plutons that are probably older than the bulk of the CMB plutons have present-day εNd values of −6.8 and −2.6.The Late Cretaceous – Eocene plutons have Nd depleted-mantle model ages (tDM) of 620–1070 Ma. These data indicate that the northern CMB must contain a significant component of old, evolved continental crust. The presence of an old crustal component is further demonstrated by inherited zircons of average Early Proterozoic age contained in some plutons. The mid to Late Proterozoic tDM ages of the CMB plutons are therefore a result of a mixture of Early Proterozoic crustal material with. younger, juvenile crust. The most likely source of this old crustal component is the Yukon–Tanana terrane, a fragment composed of ancient crustal material that occurs within and directly to the west of the northern CMB. The juvenile component is probably a combination of material derived from the mantle and from anatexis of the surrounding juvenile terranes. Crustal anatexis may have occurred as a result of the intrusion of mafic melts related to subduction along the outboard margin of the Alexander–Wrangellia terrane, by crustal thickening due to the underthrusting of the Alexander–Wrangellia terrane beneath the Yukon–Tanana and Stikine terranes, or by a combination of both processes.

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