Formation of the shuswap metamorphic core complex during late-orogenic collapse of the canadian cordillera: Role of ductile thinning and partial melting of the mid-to lower crust

O. Vanderhaeghe, Christian Teyssier

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Abstract

The early Tertiary evolution of the Shuswap metamorphic core complex is characterised by low-angle crustal detachments and nearly isothermal decompression followed by rapid cooling of rocks in the footwall of the detachments. Previous work as well as our own observations suggest that Paleogene late-orogenic extension produced the main tectonic features of the region. Furthermore, structural analysis of the migmatites and published geochronological data indicate that partial melting of the mid- to lower crust was coeval with extension in the upper crustal levels, suggesting that these two processes are linked genetically. Consequently, we propose that the formation of the Shuswap metamorphic core complex corresponds to late-orogenic gravitational collapse of the Canadian Cordillera accommodated by normal faulting of the brittle upper crust and by ductile thinning of the mid- to lower crust. The initiation and amplification of extension during the Paleocene in the Shuswap metamorphic core complex are tentatively related to partial melting of the thickened crust which caused drastic mechanical weakening of the crust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-58
Number of pages18
JournalGeodinamica Acta
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

Keywords

  • British columbia
  • Canadian cordillera
  • Late-orogenic collapse
  • Metamorphic core complex
  • Migmatites
  • Omineca belt
  • Partial melting
  • Shuswap
  • Tectonics

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