Abstract

The distribution of tectonic superstructure across the Shuswap metamorphic complex of southern British Columbia is explained by east-west–trending corrugations of the Okanagan Valley shear zone detachment. Geological mapping along the southern Okanagan Valley shear zone has identified 100-m-scale to kilometer-scale corrugations parallel to the extension direction, where synformal troughs hosting upper-plate units are juxtaposed between antiformal ridges of crystalline lower-plate rocks. Analysis of available structural data and published geological maps of the Okanagan Valley shear zone confirms the presence of ≤40-km-wavelength corrugations, which strongly influence the surface trace of the detachment system, forming spatially extensive salients and reentrants. The largest reentrant is a semicontinuous belt of late Paleozoic to Mesozoic upper-plate rocks that link stratigraphy on either side of the Shuswap metamorphic complex. Previously, these belts were considered by some to be autochthonous, implying minimal motion on the Okanagan Valley shear zone (≤12 km); conversely, our results suggest that they are allochthonous (with as much as 30–90 km displacement). Corrugations extend the Okanagan Valley shear zone much farther east than previously recognized and allow for hitherto separate gneiss domes and detachments to be reconstructed together to form a single, areally extensive Okanagan Valley shear zone across the Shuswap metamorphic complex. If this correlation is correct, the Okanagan Valley shear zone may have enveloped the entire Shuswap metamorphic complex as far east as the east-vergent Columbia River–Slocan Lake fault zones.

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