U-Pb zircon geochronology has identified a northwest-trending belt of Paleocene (68-59 Ma) plutons within the crystalline core of the North Cascades. Most of these plutons show amphibolite facies assemblages and solid-state foliation. They document extensive Paleogene dynamothermal metamorphism in the core, and combined with other recent studies, demonstrate ongoing metamorphism from mid-Cretaceous to mid-Eocene time.
The Paleocene plutons were emplaced during an interval that marked a magmatic lull throughout much of the northern Cordillera. The distribution of latest Cretaceous and Paleocene plutons suggests that magmatism in the North Cascades core records the same eastward retreat that occurred farther north in the Cordillera.