Abstract

The Lower to Middle Jurassic Hazelton Group represents the final stage of magmatic arc activity in the intraoceanic Stikine terrane, which was followed by accretion within the Cordilleran terrane collage. The Hazelton Group is exposed in the following areas: (i) on the periphery of the Bowser Basin, where arc and back-arc strata are overlain by mainly sedimentary strata of the upper Hazelton Group and then by the clastic basin fill of the Bowser Lake Group; and (ii) within a 300 km long rift system, the Eskay rift, west of the Bowser basin, where a predominantly bimodal volcanic succession contains significant mineral deposits. Examination of representative stratigraphic sections throughout the regional extent of the upper Hazelton Group has suggested significant revisions and clarification of its stratigraphy and include the following: (i) informal division of the Hazelton Group into upper and lower parts and recognition of a diachronous unconformity or unconformities at the boundary between them; (ii) establishment of a type section for the sandstone-dominated Smithers Formation; (iii) establishment of separate Quock and revised Spatsizi formations in the north and extension of the Quock Formation to include all lithostratigraphically equivalent units of blocky, thinly bedded siliceous mudstone and tuff around the periphery of the Bowser basin; and (iv) introduction of the Iskut River Formation for rift-related and volcanic facies in the Eskay rift area. Two independent rifting events occurred during deposition of the Hazelton Group: a Late Sinemurian to Early Pliensbachian phase in the northwest-trending Hazelton trough and a more restricted Aalenian to Bajocian extensional event in the Eskay rift.

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