Magmatic responses to Late Cretaceous through Oligocene tectonic evolution of the western Alaska Range
Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 11:35 AM
New geochemistry, U/Pb geochronology, and radiogenic isotopes, together with existing datasets, contribute to a refined model of the petrogenetic history of magmatism in the western Alaska Range. Plutons within the study area were emplaced into Kahiltna basin Mesozoic turbiditic strata. The Kahiltna sequence overlies Mesozoic Peninsular oceanic terrane rocks in the SE half of the basin and Proterozoic to Paleozoic Farewell continental terrane rocks to the NW. This study focuses on successive intrusion suites, most of which are thought to intrude Kahiltna or underlying Farewell terrane rocks, but include older, perhaps more deeply exhumed rocks emplaced in Peninsular terrane basement to the SE. The chemically diverse sequence records magmatism associated with major tectonic reorganization events on the southern Alaska circum-Pacific subduction margin. The oldest pluton suite (~100-80 Ma) is mostly intermediate to evolved calcalkaline granite and coincides with final closure of the Kahiltna basin and a regional transition to transpression-dominated tectonics. The post-closure magmatic pulse (~75-67 Ma) is compositionally varied, including primitive subalkaline melts, peraluminous high-K granites, and a subset of sodic, adakite-like granites. A Paleocene (~63-57 Ma) magmatic flare-up follows, dominated by extremely fractionated subalkaline melts. Rare, more primitive melts of this suite are metaluminous, from gabbro to syenite. This stage may represent relaxed melt productivity or shallowing of the slab dip, yielding more laterally diffuse melting. An early Eocene magmatic hiatus precedes middle Eocene circum-Pacific tectonic reorganization, regionally resulting in initiation of proto-Aleutian/Meshik arc magmatism, and locally in the 44–37 Ma emplacement of subalkaline intermediate to felsic plutons associated with andesite to rhyolite volcanic deposits. An Oligocene (~31–25 Ma) magmatic pulse involved emplacement of a compositionally variable suite ranging from gabbro to peralkaline granite, followed by waning magmatism coinciding with the preliminary exhumation data that may be associated with Yakutat slab subduction. These suites show the diversity of melt types and tectonic events that can account for significant juvenile crust accretion at an evolving continental margin.