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Detrital zircon geochronology of the western Ellesmerian clastic wedge, northwestern Canada; insights on Arctic tectonics and the evolution of the northern Cordilleran Miogeocline

Luke P. Beranek, James K. Mortensen, Larry S. Lane, Tammy L. Allen, Tiffani A. Fraser, Thomas Hadlari and Willem G. Zantvoort
Detrital zircon geochronology of the western Ellesmerian clastic wedge, northwestern Canada; insights on Arctic tectonics and the evolution of the northern Cordilleran Miogeocline
Geological Society of America Bulletin (November 2010) 122 (11-12): 1899-1911

Abstract

Detrital zircon provenance investigations of mid-Paleozoic sandstone from the western Ellesmerian clastic wedge and Cordilleran miogeocline in northern Yukon and Northwest Territories, northwestern Canada, provide critical new data on the source of foreland basin sedimentation attributed to terrane accretion and plate convergence along the ancestral Arctic margin of North America. Late Devonian and early Mississippian clastic wedge strata yield "exotic" ca. 360-390, 430-460, 530-680, and 1500-1600 Ma detrital zircon populations that are consistent with source rocks that originated near the Caledonian and Timanian orogenic belts. Specifically, the Pearya and Arctic Alaska-Chukotka terranes, the landmass of Crockerland, and Caledonian rocks in eastern Greenland are the inferred sources for exotic detrital zircons in clastic wedge strata. Progressive recycling of Ellesmerian foreland basin sediments into the continental margin environment along northwestern Laurentia is indicated by the presence of ca. 360-430 Ma and 1500-1600 Ma detrital zircons in post-tectonic, middle to late Mississippian miogeoclinal strata in Yukon. Provenance data from these Mississippian samples record a dramatic shift in the source of the Cordilleran miogeocline, since Caledonian and Baltican (Timanide) detrital zircon signatures are not recognized in pre-Late Devonian sedimentary rocks in western Canada. Devonian strata of the Alexander terrane and Yreka subterrane (eastern Klamath terrane) have Caledonian and Baltican detrital zircon age signatures similar to Ellesmerian clastic wedge sandstones, implying that several Cordilleran terranes originated in the paleo-Arctic realm. Speculative correlations suggest that the Arctic Alaska-Chukotka terrane was located to the west of Crockerland and the Canadian Arctic Islands in pre-Cretaceous time, prior to opening of the Amerasian basin. Rifting models for the western Arctic Ocean featuring counterclockwise rotation of the Arctic Alaska-Chukotka terrane away from the Canadian Arctic Islands may need reevaluation.


ISSN: 0016-7606
EISSN: 1943-2674
Coden: BUGMAF
Serial Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Serial Volume: 122
Serial Issue: 11-12
Title: Detrital zircon geochronology of the western Ellesmerian clastic wedge, northwestern Canada; insights on Arctic tectonics and the evolution of the northern Cordilleran Miogeocline
Affiliation: University of British Columbia, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Pages: 1899-1911
Published: 201011
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 78
Accession Number: 2010-098068
Categories: Structural geologyGeochronology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2010188
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch maps
N66°00'00" - N68°30'00", W137°30'00" - W131°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Geological Survey of Canada, CAN, CanadaYukon Geological Survey, CAN, CanadaNorthwest Territories Geology Office, CAN, Canada
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201051
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