Abstract

Well-grouped stable magnetizations have been isolated at 14 of 20 sites sampled from the Spetch Creek pluton. The single-polarity primary magnetization directed at D = 026.2°, I = 73.5° (α95 = 4.4°, paleolatitude 59 ± 7°N, paleopole 73°N, 078°W, A95 = 7°) was acquired around 88 Ma during the Cretaceous normal polarity superchron (118–84 Ma). This direction is discordant from the expected mid-Cretaceous direction (D = 332.5°, I = 75.1°) for North America. The difference could be caused by one of two end member models: the all-tilt model requires a 15° east-side-up tilt about a horizontal axis striking 353°, and the displacement–rotation model requires 330 ± 770 km of northward displacement combined with 54 ± 14° of clockwise rotation. Regardless, this result provides a negative test of the Baja British Columbia model, which requires ~ 2400 km of northward displacement.A review of previously observed mid-Cretaceous magnetizations from the Coast Belt, which are also discordant, indicates that they exhibit common characteristics, although their discordance is not uniform. Assuming that present horizontal approximates paleohorizontal, post-mid-Cretaceous latitudinal displacements inferred from individual results vary between 330 and 3500 km northwards. Relative rotations about vertical axes vary between 17 and 57° clockwise. Such variation cannot be accounted for by the displacement and rotation of a superterrane as a whole. Recent studies emphasize that many of the intrusions have probably been locally tilted. Consistent with known geology, these discordant poles are best explained by the "tilt and moderate displacement" model. This model invokes moderate (500–1000 km) post-mid-Cretaceous northward displacement of the amalgamated Insular, Coast, and Intermontane terranes west of the major dextral Canadian Cordilleran fault systems, combined with variable local block tilting east- and northeast-side-up. Northward displacement was driven by Kula and (or) Farallon – North American plate interactions from 90 to 56 Ma. Tilting is most likely due to a combination of northeast–southwest compression, differential uplift, and extension.

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