Abstract

The Albion Range, in southern Idaho east of the Antler orogenic belt and west of the Sevier orogenic belt, exposes a northeast-trending chain of four mantled gneiss domes. The Green Creek Complex (Precambrian [2.5 b.y.] gneiss and metasediments), which forms the cores of the domes, is unconformably overlain by the Paleozoic Dove Creek Group, consisting of sparsely fossiliferous metasediments approximately 22,000 feet thick. The basal quartzite and overlying schists, marbles, and thin quartzites are of probable Cambrian age. A massive quartzite and overlying schist and limestone may be Cambrian or Ordovician in age. Ordovician quartzite more than 7000 feet thick forms the middle part of the metasedimentary section, and this is overlain by massive pure dolomite, calcareous black schist, and quartzite of Ordovician through Mississippian(?) age. Devonian strata are thin or absent. At the top of the metasedimentary section are limestone, schist, and quartzite of the Pennsylvanian Oquirrh(?) Formation.

Younger Paleozoic sandstone, limestone, and chert, and Triassic(?) shale occur in fault contact overlying the metasediments. Cenozoic sedimentary and volcanic rocks unconformably overlie the deformed older rocks.

Metamorphic grade (greenschist and amphibolite facies) increases northwestward and downward in the area. Staurolite and kyanite occur in Cambrian rocks in the northern half of the range; cordierite, andalusite, and sillimanite occur in Precambrian rocks in the southern half of the range, but these may be due to Tertiary contact metamorphism.

Deformation during Mesozoic metamorphism produced two fabric systems; locally a Precambrian metamorphic fabric survived the younger metamorphism. Early bedding foliation and northeast-trending, northwest-vergent folds and lineations predated rise of the domes. Northwest-trending folds and lineations with northeast and southwest vergence were produced during and after doming; over much of the western half of the range these structures destroyed all older fabrics.

During the Oligocene (30 m.y.) a postkinematic adamellite stock—the Almo Pluton—and related granitic dikes were emplaced. Following emplacement of the pluton, uplift of the range accelerated to an average rate of .5 mm per year, bringing the gneiss domes to the surface from a depth of at least 10 km.

The Albion Range is part of a belt of rocks along the western part of the Cordilleran miogeosyncline which was affected by high-grade regional metamorphism during the middle of the Mesozoic. The metamorphic rocks are part of the Cordilleran infrastructure, which can be traced from California into southern British Columbia and beyond.

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