Abstract

Correlation of potential field data to regional geological features within the Lithoprobe southern Canadian Cordillera transect corridor allows characterization of anomaly patterns according to their likely sources. Long-wavelength Bouguer gravity anomalies are attributed to isostatic effects of topography, which in most areas is compensated. Two notable exceptions occur: in the Foreland belt a large positive isostatic anomaly is likely due to mechanical support of topography formed as Cordilleran thrust sheets were emplaced over the thick craton, and on the west coast, isostatic anomalies are related to active subduction. Long-wavelength magnetic anomalies in the Foreland belt are associated with cratonal basement beneath the thrust sheets, and these can be followed westward to near the Omineca belt. A prominent positive magnetic anomaly along the western Coast belt is probably associated with mafic rocks generated during subduction. Elsewhere, relatively short wavelength gravity and magnetic anomalies correlate well with either plutons (both gravity and magnetic), volcanics (primarily magnetics), or faults (magnetics) within the region of accreted terranes.

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