DOI: 10.1130/b37198.1 ISSN: 0016-7606

A record of Late Cretaceous to early Paleogene Insular terrane accretion within the northern Cordillera: Insights from monazite petrochronology across the Kluane Schist, southwest Yukon, Canada

Will F. McKenzie, Brendan Dyck, H. Daniel Gibson, Kyle Larson
  • Geology

The Kluane Schist is a metamorphosed package of siliciclastic and lesser calcareous rocks that lies between the inboard pericratonic Intermontane terranes and outboard Insular terranes of the North American Cordillera within Yukon, Canada. The metamorphic sequence of the Kluane Schist preserves a record of the tectono-thermal evolution and timing of Insular terrane accretion. Here we document the timing of metamorphism and deformation across the Kluane Schist using in situ laser ablation−inductively coupled plasma−mass spectrometry U-Th-Pb monazite petrochronology. Monazite-bearing samples collected across an inverted metamorphic sequence preserved in the northern regions of the Kluane Schist yield dates ranging from ca. 70 Ma to 55 Ma. Complementary phase equilibria modeling and thin section analysis indicate monazite grew between ∼450 °C and 3.0−3.5 kbar to ∼700−715 °C and 4.0−4.5 kbar, coeval with the development of the Kluane Schist’s inverted metamorphic sequence. Dating the four chemical zones preserved by monazite demonstrates its protracted growth during three distinct periods of garnet crystallization and breakdown, as well as coeval with melt generation. Our data illustrate that peak metamorphic conditions were reached at progressively younger ages with decreasing structural level within the Kluane Schist. Our results are consistent with Buchan-style metamorphism associated with the terminal accretion of the outboard Insular terranes and southwest-directed overriding of the inboard Yukon-Tanana terrane from ca. 70 Ma to 55 Ma. These findings are further congruous with a Late Cretaceous timing for the terminal accretion of the Insular terranes within southwest Yukon, facilitated by east-dipping subduction beneath a westward migrating North American continent.

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