Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic basins in western North America record the evolving position of the Laurentian craton within two supercontinents during their growth and dismemberment: Columbia (Nuna) and Rodinia. The western-most exposures of the Columbia rift-related Belt–Purcell Supergroup are preserved in northeastern Washington, structurally overlain by the Deer Trail Group and depositionally overlying the Neoproterozoic Windermere Supergroup. It has been disputed whether the Deer Trail Group is correlative with the Belt–Purcell Supergroup, or younger. To help resolve the uncertain correlation of these units and their bearing on supercontinent evolution, we characterized the detrital zircon age populations of units from the Deer Trail Group, the Windermere Supergroup, and the Belt–Purcell Supergroup in northeastern Washington. These data show that the western part of the Columbia supercontinent (now located in Australia and eastern Antarctica) remained attached to western Laurentia and continued to supply 1600–1500 Ma detrital zircon grains to the Belt–Purcell Supergroup until after ca. 1391 Ma. The Deer Trail Group is younger than the Belt–Purcell strata, with the basal unit younger than ca. 1362 Ma and a middle unit younger than ca. 1300 Ma. The Deer Trail Group has a pre-Grenville-age provenance from the southwestern USA and possibly east Antarctica. The Buffalo Hump Formation is younger than the Deer Trail Group, with Grenville-age (ca. 1112 Ma) detrital zircon grains and a detrital zircon signature like that of the overlying Neoproterozoic Windermere Supergroup. We interpret the Deer Trail Group to have been deposited during the rift-demise of supercontinent Columbia and before the Grenville-age assembly of the supercontinent Rodinia.
Between the supercontinents: Mesoproterozoic Deer Trail Group, an intermediate age unit between the Mesoproterozoic Belt–Purcell Supergroup and the Neoproterozoic Windermere Supergroup in northeastern Washington, USA
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Stephen E. Box, Chad J. Pritchard, Travis S. Stephens, Paul B. O’Sullivan; Between the supercontinents: Mesoproterozoic Deer Trail Group, an intermediate age unit between the Mesoproterozoic Belt–Purcell Supergroup and the Neoproterozoic Windermere Supergroup in northeastern Washington, USA. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 2020;; 57 (12): 1411–1427. doi: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjes-2019-0188
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