Abstract

This paper provides a comprehensive synthesis of virtually all units and events of Early and Middle Proterozoic age in the Yukon, spanning ∼1 Ga. Early and Middle Proterozoic time was dominated by a series of extensionalbasin-forming events punctuated by orogenesis, magmatism, and hydrothermal activity. Basinal deposits include the Wernecke Supergroup (>1.71 Ga), Pinguicula Group (∼1.38 Ga), and Mackenzie Mountains Supergroup (1.000.78 Ga). Igneous rocks include the Bonnet Plume River Intrusions (1.71 Ga), Slab volcanics (≥1.6 Ga), Hart River sills and volcanics (1.38 Ga), and Bear River (Mackenzie) dykes (1.27 Ga). A voluminous hydrothermal event generated the widespread Wernecke breccias at 1.60 Ga. The Racklan orogeny deformed the Wernecke Supergroup prior to emplacement of the Wernecke Breccia. The Corn Creek orogeny deformed Mackenzie Mountains Supergroup and older rocks prior to deposition of the Windermere Supergroup (<0.78 Ga). Long intervals with scanty rock records extended for as much as 300 Ma and appear to represent periods of crustal stability and subaerial conditions. By the time of Windermere rifting (<0.78 Ga), the supracrust of northwestern Laurentia was a mature, largely denuded orogenic belt with a composite sedimentary–metamorphic–igneous character. New isotopic data include Nd depleted mantle model ages for the Wernecke Supergroup (2.282.69 Ga) and Wernecke Breccia (2.362.96 Ga), a U–Pb zircon age for a Hart River sill forumla (Ma), detrital U–Pb zircon ages from the basal Pinguicula Group (18413078 Ma), detrital muscovite ages from the Mackenzie Mountains Supergroup (10372473 Ma), and muscovite 40Ar/39Ar cooling ages from the Wernecke Supergroup (788 ± 8 and 980 ± 4 Ma).

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