Abstract

In the Yukon, the oldest known supracrustal succession, the Wernecke Supergroup, was deposited in a marine basin before 1.71 Ga. The earliest orogenic event to disturb these strata was the Racklan orogeny, which produced folds and fabrics at peak temperatures of 450–550 °C. These features and those of the correlative Forward orogeny are recognized at the surface and in the subsurface throughout much of northwestern Canada. Zones of Wernecke Breccia (hydrothermal breccias, 1.60 Ga) were emplaced into the Wernecke Supergroup after Racklan deformation and metamorphism. Two main types of breccia are recognized: grey sodic breccias and colourful potassic breccias. In the Slab Mountain area, a belt of grey breccias contains abundant megaclasts of country rock including blocks of a subaerial lava succession, the Slab volcanics. These grey breccias are interpreted as a vent facies of Wernecke Breccia, and their emplacement into the stratigraphically lowest unit of the Wernecke Supergroup infers that at least 9 km of exhumation occurred in the core of a major Racklan anticline prior to brecciation. The Slab volcanics are preserved only as clasts in Wernecke Breccia and are interpreted as fragments of a former valley-filling basalt succession which overlay deformed and deeply incised strata of the Wernecke Supergroup.

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