Abstract

Pleistocene- to Holocene-age basaltic rocks of the Iskut–Unuk rivers volcanic field, at the southern terminus of the Stikine Volcanic Belt in the northern Canadian Cordillera, provide information on the geochemical composition of the underlying mantle and processes that have modified parental magmas. Basaltic rocks from four of the six eruptive centres are moderately evolved (MgO = 5.7–6.8%) alkaline basalts with chondrite-normalized La/Sm = 1.6–1.8, 87Sr/86Sr = 0.70336–0.70361, εNd = +4.4 to +5.9, and 206Pb/204Pb = 19.07–19.22. The small range of isotopic compositions and incompatible element ratios imply a common "depleted" mantle source for the basalts, similar to the sources of enriched mid-ocean ridge basalts from northwest Pacific spreading centres or alkali olivine basalts from the western Yukon. Positive Ba and negative Nb anomalies that increase in size with increasing SiO2 and 87Sr/86Sr indicate that the basalts are contaminated by Mesozoic-age, arc-related, Stikine Terrane crust or lithospheric mantle through which the magmas passed. Lavas from a fifth volcanic centre, Cinder Mountain, have undergone greater amounts of fractional crystallization and are relatively enriched in incompatible elements, but are isotopically identical to least-contaminated Iskut–Unuk rivers basalts. Iskut–Unuk rivers lavas share many of the geochemical characteristics of volcanic rocks from other Stikine Belt and Anahim Belt centres, as well as alkali olivine basalts from the Fort Selkirk volcanic centres of the western Yukon.

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