Abstract

U-Pb ages have been determined for 55 detrital zircon grains from a metasedimentary sequence along the west flank of the Coast Mountains in southeastern Alaska. These rocks belong to the Port Houghton assemblage, which consists of upper Paleozoic pelitic and psammitic schist, metaconglomerate, metabasalt, and marble. The Port Houghton assemblage rests unconformably(?) on metamorphosed and deformed mid-Paleozoic arc-type volcanics (Endicott Arm assemblage), which gradationally overlie upper Proterozoic(?) - lower Paleozoic continental margin strata (Tracy Arm assemblage). Three main clusters of ages are present: 330-365 Ma (19 grains), 1710-2000 Ma (27 grains), and 2450-2680 Ma (6 grains). Additional grains are approximately 2334, 2364, and 3324 Ma. Comparison of these ages with detrital zircon ages in other Cordilleran assemblages supports previous interpretations that metasedimentary rocks in the Coast Mountains (i) form a southwestern continuation of the Yukon-Tanana terrane of eastern Alaska and Yukon, (ii) are not correlative with strata of the Alexander terrane, and (iii) contain detritus that was probably shed from cratonal rocks in the Canadian Shield to the east. Several scenarios exist to explain the occurrence of these continental margin rocks west (outboard) of arc-type and ocean-floor assemblages such as the Stikine, Cache Creek, Quesnel, and Slide Mountain terranes.

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