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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Structural relations of the southern Quesnel Lake gneiss, Isosceles mountain area, southwest Cariboo mountains, British Columbia Montgomery, John R.


The southern extension of the Quesnel Lake Gneiss lies approximately 10 km northeast of the Intermontane-Omineca Belt tectonic contact in the southwestern Cariboo Mountains, British Columbia. The aim of this thesis is the investigation of the structural development and style at a deep structural level relative to the 1MB-OB contact, and to determine the nature origin of the southern extension of the Quesnel Lake Gneiss. Omineca Belt rocks in the Quesnel Lake region are the Late Proterozoic to Late Paleozoic Snowshoe Group metasediments. The Snowshoe Group rocks in this study area comprise a package of variably micaceous schist, quartz-biotite gneissose schist, calcareous metasandstone, marble and amphibolite which represent deformed and metamorphosed continental margin deposits. The Quesnel Lake Gneiss is a predominately subalkaline granodioritic intrusive into these sediments that has been modified by subsequent deformation and metamorphism. High Sr content, low initial ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sr ratios and an alkalic component imply a mantle source although possible Pb inheritance in zircons and regional Sr data suggest a certain amount of assimilated continental crust A U-Pb zircon age on the Quesnel Lake Gneiss indicates intrusion in Mid-Paleozoic, probably Devonc—Mississippian time. A regional metamorphic event affecting the entire sedimentary and intrusive package is interpreted to have occurred in the Middle-Jurassic as suggested by sphene U-Pb geochronometry and regional stratigraphic relations. The structural sequence observed in this area is composed of five phases of folding followed by a brittle fracturing and faulting phase. The entire sequence of deformation is seen in both the Snowshoe Group and the Quesnel Lake Gneiss. A pervasive metamorphic foliation defines the compositional layering (S0/1) and is axial planar to isoclinal first phase folds in both rock packages. Syn-metamorphic second phase deformation is evidenced as tight similar-style folds with an axial surface penetratively developed at a low angle (10-15°) to the compositional layering. Syn- to post-metamorphic third phase deformation produced southwest verging folds with only locally penetrative axial surfaces developed at approximately 40° to SO/1 compositional layering and northwest plunging fold axes nearly coaxial with F2 folds. The Quesnel Lake Gneiss shows a lack of F3 macroscopic folds. Fourth and fifth phase folds are brittle, broad warps that are only locally developed in the more micaceous units. A series of ť vs. α plots on second and third phase folds in both rock types indicates a ductile regime associated with high shear strain during F2 deformation with decreasing shear strain and less ductile behavior during the third phase of deformation. This change in behavior corresponds with the waning of metamorphism. At least one regional metamorphic episode has affected this area in association with the deformational sequence outlined above. The metamorphic peak occurs post-F2 and pre- to syn-F3 deformation producing Barrovian-type assemblages of the amphibolite facies. Metamorphic temperatures of approximately 590° C at 5.5 kb were determined by garnet-biotite geothermometry in sillimanite-bearing schists northeast of the Quesnel Lake Gneiss. A tectonic history for the rocks in this map area began with the deposition of the Snowshoe Group sediments in a continent margin basin from the Late Proterozoic to the Early Mississippian. Intrusion into this package by the Quesnel Lake granitic body occurred between 317 and 400 Ma ago. The first phase of deformation recognized in the Snowshoe Group and Quesnel Lake Gneiss is absent in the Quesnellia and Slide Mountain rocks and may also be of Paleozoic age. The accretion of Quesnellia onto the continental margin in Early Jurassic time is inferred to have initiated the subsequent deformation and regional metamorphism.

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