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The origins and primary relationships between tectono-stratigraphic units are fundamental to the terrane concept in accretionary orogens, but they are challenging to assess in metamorphic terranes. In NW British Columbia, three tectonically bounded metamorphic suites of the Yukon-Tanana terrane formed in distinct tectonic settings, based on high-spatial-resolution geochronology and immobile trace-element geochemistry. The Florence Range suite comprises late Neoproterozoic or younger to pre–latest Devonian metasedimentary rocks derived from continental crust, 360 ± 4 Ma calc-alkaline intermediate orthogneiss, and 357 ± 4 Ma amphibolite with oceanic-island basalt composition, consistent with rifting of a continental margin. The detrital signature is dominated by late Mesoproterozoic zircon, which indicates different sources than other parts of the Yukon-Tanana terrane. The Boundary Ranges suite comprises pre–Late Devonian metasedimentary rocks derived in part from a mafic source, amphibolite derived from subduction-zone metasomatized mantle, and 369 ± 4 Ma to 367 ± 7 Ma calc-alkaline felsic to intermediate orthogneiss. The Whitewater suite comprises meta-chert, graphite-rich metapelite, and amphibolite with back-arc basin basalt composition consistent with an anoxic basin near a volcanic source. Our data indicate that the Florence Range and Boundary Ranges suites were separate until at least the Early Mississippian and may have formed a composite terrane since the Permian, whereas the relationship with the Whitewater suite is uncertain. We compare the Paleozoic evolution of the Yukon-Tanana terrane in NW British Columbia with several modern analogues in the west and southwest Pacific Ocean.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License