UBC Theses and Dissertations
Geologic setting and petrology of the Proterozoic Ogilvie Mountains breccia of the Coal Creek inlier, southern Ogilvie Mountains, Yukon Territory Lane, Robert Andrew
Ogilvie Mountains breccia (OMB) is in Early (?) to Late Proterozoic rocks of the Coal Creek Inlier, southern Ogilvie Mountains, Yukon Territory. Host rocks are the Wernecke Supergroup (Fairchild Lake, Quartet and Gillespie Lake groups) and lower Fifteenmile group. Distribution and cross-cutting relationships of the breccia were delineated by regional mapping. OMB was classified by clast type and matrix composition. Ogilvie Mountains breccia crops out discontinuously along two east-trending belts called the Northern Breccia Belt (NBB) and the Southern Breccia Belt (SBB). The NBB extends across approximately 40 km of the map area, and the SBB is about 15 km long. Individual bodies of OMB vary from dyke- and sill-like to pod-like. The breccia belts each coincide with a regional structure. The NBB coincides with a north side down reverse fault—an inferred ruptured anticline—called the Monster fault. The SBB coincides with a north side down fault called the Fifteenmile fault. These faults, at least in part, guided ascending breccia. The age of OMB is constrained by field relationships and galena lead isotope data. It is younger than the Gillespie Lake Group, and is at least as old as the lower Fifteenmile group because it intrudes both of these units. A galena lead isotope model age for the Hart River stratiform massive sulphide deposit that is in Gillespie Lake Group rocks is 1.45 Ga. Galena from veinlets cutting a dyke that cuts OMB in lower Fifteenmile group rocks is 0.90 Ga in age. Therefore the age of OMB formation is between 1.45 and 0.90 Ga. Ogilvie Mountains breccia (OMB) has been classified into monolithic (oligomictic) and heterolithic (polymictic) lithologies. These have been further divided by major matrix components—end members are carbonate-rich, hematite-rich and chlorite-rich. Monolithic breccias with carbonate matrices dominate the NBB. Heterolithic breccias are abundant locally in the NBB, but are prevalent in the SBB. Fragments were derived mainly from the Wernecke Supergroup. In the SBB fragments from the lower Fifteenmile group are present. Uncommon mafic igneous fragments were from local dykes. OMB are generally fragment dominated. Recognized fragments are up to several 10s of metres across and grade into matrix sized grains. Hydrothermal alteration has locally overprinted OMB and introduced silica, hematite and sulphide minerals. This mineralization has received limited attention from the mineral exploration industry. Rare earth element chemistry reflects a lack of mantle or deep-seated igneous process in the formation of OMB. However, this may be only an apparent lack because flooding by a large volume of sedimentary material could obscure a REE pattern indicative of another source. The genesis of OMB is significantly similar to modern mud diapirs. It is proposed that OMB originated from pressurized, underconsolidated fine grained limey sediments (Fairchild Lake Group). These were trapped below and loaded by turbidites (Quartet Group) and younger units. Tectonics and the initiation of major faults apparently triggered movement of the pressurized fluid-rich medium. The resulting bodies of breccia are sill-like and diapir-like sedimentary intrusions. Fluid-rich phases may have caused hydrofracturing (brittle failure) of the surrounding rocks (especially in the hanging wall). Breccia intrusion would have increased the width of the passage way while encorporating more fragments. Iron- and oxygen-rich hydrothermal fluids apparently were associated with the diapirism. Presumably these fluids are responsible for the high contents of hematite and iron carbonate in fragments, and especially, in the matrix of the breccias. Exhalation of these fluids may have formed the sedimentary iron formations that are spatially associated with the breccias.
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