Abstract

On the basis of trace-element data, basaltic protoliths for Paleozoic eclogites from the Yukon–Tanana terrane (YTT) have diverse origins. Eclogites from Stewart Lake and the Simpson Range have characteristics of basaltic protoliths generated by subduction-zone magmatism, are hosted by serpentinitic–gabbroic rocks, and record Mississippian high-pressure metamorphism and cooling. In contrast, eclogites from Faro, Ross River, and Last Peak show either within-plate geochemistry or mid-ocean ridge protolith geochemistry with a small subduction component, are hosted by continental metasedimentary rocks of the Nisutlin assemblage, and record Permian high-pressure metamorphism and cooling. We interpret these results to derive from the following tectonic events in the Paleozoic history of the YTT: (1) activity at a Devonian–Mississippian convergent plate margin at the distal edge of North America, with near-contemporaneous subduction-zone magmatism and high-pressure metamorphism; (2) Mississippian rifting of that margin to form the outboard YTT, the Slide Mountain marginal basin, and the Faro, Ross River, and Last Peak eclogite protoliths; and (3) west-dipping subduction of the Slide Mountain Ocean under the outboard YTT in Permian time, to produce the Faro, Ross River, and Last Peak eclogites and Permian arc magmatism throughout the YTT. The basaltic protoliths of the Paleozoic YTT eclogites bear close similarity to those produced in rifted convergent margins, such as the Miocene Japanese arc – back-arc system.

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