Abstract

This paper provides an integrated field and geochemical study of weakly alkalic, ∼360 Ma mafic rocks from the Yukon–Tanana terrane in the Finlayson Lake region, southeastern Yukon. These mafic rocks occur as dykes and sills that crosscut older felsic metavolcanic rocks and metasedimentary rocks (Kudz Ze Kayah unit) or as flows interlayered with carbonaceous metasedimentary rocks. The mafic rocks have signatures similar to those of ocean-island basalts, moderate TiO2 and P2O5 contents, elevated high field strength element and light rare earth element contents, and εNd350 = +1.1. A subset of the dykes (group 4b) has similar geochemical characteristics but with higher Th/Nb and lower Nb/U ratios, higher Zr and light rare earth element contents, and εNd350 = –2.8. The geochemical and isotopic attributes of these rocks are consistent with formation from either lithospheric or asthenospheric sources during decompression melting of the mantle, with some rocks exhibiting evidence for crustal contamination (group 4b). The alkalic basalts are interpreted to represent ∼360 Ma ensialic back-arc rifting and basin generation. It is envisioned that east-dipping subduction, represented by slightly older magmatic suites (Fire Lake unit), was disrupted by subduction hinge roll-back, westward migration of arc magmatism, and the onset of back-arc extension. Decompression melting of the mantle associated with back-arc generation resulted in mantle melting and the formation of the alkalic basalts. The spatial association of this mafic magmatism with crustally derived felsic volcanic rocks and contained volcanogenic massive sulphide mineralization suggests that the associated deposits (Kudz Ze Kayah, GP4F) formed within an ensialic back-arc environment.

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