Abstract

This study presents a broad geochemical and isotopic synthesis of mid-Cretaceous granites in the southern Yukon as well as a comparative data set for granites sourced from, and hosted by, accreted terranes in the west through to ancient cratonic rocks in the east. We present data from a traverse perpendicular to the strike of the northern Canadian Cordillera allowing comparison with the growing body of such data derived from the host terranes. Trace elements, specifically the “subduction signature,” allow the discrimination of oceanic verses continental crustal sources. Comparison of isotopic ratios of Sr and, particularly, Nd with published data further refine the correlation of granites with their source terranes. Granites are initially divided based upon their host morphogeological belts, however, our study indicates that the source terranes transcend these traditional boundaries. For Intermontane Belt hosted granites three distinct sources can be identified: an isotopically primitive (Sri, 0.7050; ϵNdT, 2.3 to –1.2), subduction-related source probably associated with the mid-Cretaceous continental margin; an isotopically primitive (Sri, 0.7032 to 0.7035; ϵNdT, 4.2 to 1.4), non-subduction-related source identified as the host Cache Creek terrane; and an isotopically slightly more evolved (Sri, 0.7094 to 0.7101; ϵNdT, 4.5 to –7.3), subduction-related source identified as the host Stikine terrane. Immediately east of the Teslin Tectonic Zone (TTZ), pericratonic Omineca granites (Sri, 0.7032 to 0.7076; ϵNdT, 2.0 to –5.4) do not correlate with their host terranes, but instead show marked similarities with granites immediately to the west of the TTZ suggesting that the same, or similar crustal sources extend further east in the subsurface than previously thought. In the eastern pericratonic Omineca Belt, there is a substantial jump to more evolved isotopic values (Sri, 0.7172 to 0.7354; ϵNdT, –16.6 to –21.7) for granites that extend to the most easterly exposed plutons of the cratonic Omineca Belt. These more isotopically evolved granites correlate with isotopic values for the pericratonic Yukon–Tanana and Cassiar terranes, as well as cratonic North America.

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