Abstract

The outcrop of the Toby Conglomerate extends sinuously from southeastern British Columbia to northeastern Washington. It constitutes the basal part of the Windermere System (Upper Proterozoic), unconformably overlies the beveled Upper Purcell System, and conformably underlies either volcanic rocks or clastic Windermere sedimentary rocks of the Horsethief Creek Group and Monk Formation. The Toby Conglomerate consists chiefly of diamictite, which is complexly interstratified with conglomerates, sandstones, and argillites, the latter two containing dispersed megaclasts. Toby Conglomerate thickness ranges markedly from a few to nearly 2000 m. There is a dearth of tractive-current features within Toby sedimentary rocks. The presence of overlying pillow lavas and laminated argillites, turbidites, and grain flow deposits suggest that the basal Windermere System is of sub-aqueous origin. Paleogeographic reconstruction indicates deposition in the sea west of the orogenic landmass, Montania, peninsular to the Canadian Shield.Texture, composition, stratigraphie associations of Toby sedimentary rocks, and a lack of consistent regional variation suggest that the Toby Conglomerate was deposited by glacial marine sedimentation. Montania was overridden by ice traveling westward from the shield prior to Toby deposition. The basal Horsethief Creek Group and Monk Formation were produced largely by postglacial mass flow of slumped tills and deltaic deposits. This represents a new interpretation of the genesis of the Toby Conglomerate, one which accords with worldwide evidences of a Late Precambrian ice age.

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