Abstract

This study examines the lower Paleozoic stratigraphy of the Cassiar Terrane from three key sections comprising an east–west transect across the terrane. The Cassiar Terrane, west of the Northern Rocky Mountain Trench, consists of a Neoproterozoic to Triassic succession and is a fragment of the Cordilleran Miogeocline that has been displaced northward. The amount of displacement from its original position remains controversial. Conodonts from the Cassiar Terrane have been previously reported from only a few reconnaissance studies. More than 3000 m of strata have been measured and examined in detail and 85 conodont samples collected. A total of 926 identifiable conodont elements are assigned to 31 species representing 21 genera. The conodonts are mainly representative of the Midcontinent Faunal Realm, but some also represent the Atlantic Realm. Conodonts from the upper Kechika Formation and base of the Road River Group are Early Ordovician (Tremadocian) in age, and those from the upper Road River Group range into the Upper Ordovician (Caradocian). The detailed Ordovician stratigraphy and temporal constraints established by conodont biostratigraphy provide for correlation to coeval facies of ancestral North America. The onset of Road River sedimentation in the mid-Tremadocian is, however, older than that in the Macdonald Platform to the east (early Arenigian). This onset timing may help link the Cassiar Terrane to a specific part of the miogeocline from which it was transported.

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