UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Geology and geochronometry of the eocene Tatla Lake metamorphic core complex, western edge of the intermontane belt, British Columbia Friedman, Richard M.


The Tatla Lake Metamorphic Complex (TLMC) underlies 1000 km² on the western side of the Intermontane Belt (1MB) northeast of the Yalakom fault Three fault-bounded lithotectonic assemblages are recognized in the area studied: an amphibolite grade gneissic and migmatitic core, structurally overlain by a 1 to 2.5 + km-thick zone of amphibolite and greenschist grade mylonite and ductilely sheared metamorphic rocks, the ductilely sheared assemblage (DSA), which is in turn structurally overlain by weakly deformed to unstrained subgreenschist grade rocks of the upper plate which flank the TLMC on three sides. Structures in the gneissic core include a gneissic foliation and schistosity (Sic), which has been deformed by west to northwest-trending tight to isoclinal folds (F2c). Tectonic fabrics observed throughout the DSA which formed during Ds deformation include a gently dipping mylonitic foliation (Ss), containing a mineral elongation (stretching) lineation (Ls) which trends towards 280° ± 20°. Minor folds of variable trend (Fs), almost exclusively confined to DSA metasedimentary rocks, are interpreted as coeval with ductile shear. Vergence of these folds defines movement sense and direction of top towards 290° ± 20°. Kinematic indicators from DSA rocks which have not been deformed by syn-ductile shear folds indicate a top-to-the-west sense of shear while those deformed by Fs folds yield conflicting results, with a top-to-the-west sense predominating. The entire lower plate comprising the TLMC has been deformed by broad, upright, west to west-northwest trending, shallowly plunging map-scale folds (F3) during D3, which deform Sic and Ss surfaces. The steeply dipping, northwest-trending Yalakom fault truncates all units and structures of the TLMC. Gently to moderately dipping normal faults of Ds and post-D3 relative age are the southern and eastern boundaries between DSA upper plate rocks and 1MB lower plate rocks. U-Pb zircon dates from igneous arid meta- igneous rocks from the lower plate range from Late Jurassic (157 Ma) through Eocene (47 Ma). These dates bracket the timing of Cretaceous (107 Ma to 79 Ma, in the core) and Eocene (55 Ma to 47 Ma, in the DSA) deformation and metamorphism in the lower plate. Biotite and hornblende K-Ai dates of 53.4 Ma to 45.6 Ma for lower plate rocks are in sharp contrast to Jurassic dates from nearby upper plate rocks; they record the uplift and cooling of the TLMC. Whole rock initial ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sr ratios (and for most samples present-day values) of less ≤0.704 have been determined for igneous and meta-igneous rocks of the TLMC; such values are typical of magmatic arc rocks of the 1MB and Coast Plutonic Complex of B.C. Whole rock major and trace element chemistry of lower plate igneous and meta-igneous rocks indicate sub-alkaline, calcalkaline, volcanic arc affinities. Garnet-biotite temperatures (interpreted as Eocene in age), from pelitic schist in the southern part of the DSA increase from about 400 ± 50 to 650 ± 50 C with increasing structural depth. A GT-BI-QZ-Al₂SiO₅ pressure of 8 ± 3 kb has been calculated for one of these samples. A T-P of 650 ± 50 C and 5.3 ± 3 kb, calculated from inclusions and garnet cores in a small pelitic pendant in the northwest part of the DSA, reflects conditions during intrusion of the surrounding 71 ± 3 Ma igneous body. A pressure of 7.2 ± 1.4 kb, based on the total Al in hornblende, has been calculated for this body. Cretaceous ductile deformation in the gneissic core may be related to folding and thrusting which occured in high level rocks to the west and east of the field area. During Early Eocene time (55-47 Ma) the TLMC acquired the characteristics of a Cordilleran metamorphic core complex. Mylonites of the DSA were emplaced by faulting beneath weakly deformed, low metamorphic grade rocks of the upper plate. Synchronously, metamorphic rocks of the gneissic and migmatitic core of the TLMC were moved to higher crustal levels along the footwall of the DSA normal ductile shear zone. The formation of F3 folds and final uplift of the TLMC (47-35 Ma) is postulated to be the consequence of transpression related to later Eocene dextral motion along the Yalakom fault The TLMC has structural style and timing of deformation similar to metamorphic core complexes in southeastern B.C. Local and regional evidence is consistent with the formation of the TLMC in a regional extensional setting within a vigorous magmatic arc.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.