Abstract

Conodonts, radiolarians, foraminiferids, and corals provide constraints on the geology and tectonics of the Nechako region. They also support the notion that the Cache Creek Terrane is allochthonous with respect to the North American craton. The 177 conodont collections, assigned to 20 faunas, range in age from Bashkirian (Late Carboniferous) to Norian (Late Triassic); 70 radiolarian collections representing 12 zones range from Gzhelian (Late Carboniferous) to Toarcian (Early Jurassic); 335 collections assigned to 11 fusulinacean assemblages (with associated foram–algal associations) range from Bashkirian to Wordian (Middle Permian); and two coral faunas are of Bashkirian and Wordian age. The fossils document a long but sporadic history of sedimentary events within the Cache Creek Complex that included two major carbonate buildups in the Late Carboniferous (Pope limestone) and Middle Permian (Copley limestone), punctuated by intervening Early Permian deepening; basaltic eruptions during the mid Carboniferous and mid Permian; the onset of oceanic chert sedimentation close to the Carboniferous–Permian boundary and its persistence through the Late Triassic (Sowchea succession); latest Permian and Early Triassic mixed clastics and volcanics (Kloch Lake succession); Middle and Late Triassic reworking of carbonates (Whitefish limestone), including cavity fill in older limestones (Necoslie breccia), and fine-grained clastic sedimentation extending into the Early Jurassic (Tezzeron succession). Tethyan, eastern Pacific, and (or) low-latitude biogeographic attributes of the faunas are noted in the Gzhelian (fusulines), Artinskian (conodonts, fusulines), Wordian (fusulines, corals, conodonts), and Ladinian (conodonts, radiolarians). The Cache Creek Terrane lay far to the west of the North American continent during these times.

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