Abstract

Paleomagnetic samples were collected from Mid-Pennsylvanian to Lower Permian red argillaceous cherts at two localities of the Slide Mountain terrane: 18 sites from the Sylvester allochthon in northern British Columbia and 11 sites from Sliding Mountain in central British Columbia. A secondary component of natural remanent magnetization in the Sylvester samples yields a paleomagnetic pole that can be brought into coincidence with the Jurassic portion of the North American apparent polar wander path by inferring vertical-axis rotation during obduction of the allochthon. Both localities yield a characteristic component (ChRM) with unblocking temperatures from 650 to 680 °C. After structural correction for bedding tilt, all inclinations of ChRM are negative, consistent with magnetization during a reversed-polarity interval in the northern hemisphere. Site-mean ChRM directions show consistent inclinations but distinct stratigraphic groupings of declinations. Inclination-only statistics indicate that the ChRM passes a tilt test within the Sylvester allochthon and regionally between the two localities. The ChRM was apparently acquired prior to structural imbrication within the Sylvester section and regional differential tilting. We interpret the ChRM to be a primary magnetization acquired at or soon after deposition during the Permo-Carboniferous reversed-polarity superchron. The mean ChRM inclination of −16.7° ± 6.0° from the Sylvester allochthon indicates a paleo-latitude of 8.8° ± 3.4°N, which is corroborated by a paleolatitude of 1.9° ± 1.5°N from the Sliding Mountain locality. When compared with expected Pennsylvanian–Permian paleolatitudes, a net poleward translation of 20.3 ± 3.7° is implied for at least the sampled lithotectonic component of the Sylvester allochthon.

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