Abstract

The EarthScope IDOR (Idaho-Oregon) project was designed to investigate the formation of the steep accretionary boundary associated with the Salmon River suture zone and western Idaho shear zone (WISZ), in western Idaho and eastern Oregon (western USA). The research was designed to test three hypotheses concerning the present geometry of the boundary: (1) a crustal detachment; (2) a lithospheric detachment; and (3) a curved original geometry for the WISZ. The data presented in this volume indicate that none of these original three models is correct. Rather, the WISZ continues vertically downward through the entire crust, its steep orientation consistent with a significant component of strike-slip and/or transpressional tectonism. Moreover, the western Idaho shear zone is extremely well preserved despite abundant subsequent magmatism (Idaho batholith, Challis event, Columbia River Basalt Group) and tectonism (Cretaceous contraction, Eocene extension, Miocene–present extension). The ten research papers in this volume report on various aspects of this history. Four papers address the kinematics and tectonic history of rocks spatially associated with the WISZ, including its along-strike northward continuation. Two papers address the tectonic history of the accreted terranes, including geochemical arguments for different lithospheres sampled during magmatic episodes. Three papers document deformation, exhumation, and emplacement rates in the Idaho batholith. The final paper constrains the modern crustal architecture along a transect from the accreted terranes in the west to cratonic North America in the east. Together, these studies constrain the tectonic history of a subvertical tectonic boundary in the North American Cordillera.

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