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Evolution of the western part of the Coast plutonic–metamorphic complex, South-Eastern Alaska, USA: A summary

April 1, 1989

The western Cordillera of North America extends for over 6000 km from the tip of Baja California to the Alaska Range. It includes a wide variety of metamorphic and plutonic terrains, but none is more spectacular scenically or geologically than the Coast plutonic-metamorphic complex (Brew & Ford 1984) of western Canada and south-eastern Alaska. This report briefly describes the evolution of the western part of the complex, integrating information from the deformational, plutonic and metamorphic events. Most of the original studies are reported by the authors in U.S. Geological Survey Circular numbers 733, 751, 823-B, 868, 939, 945, 967 and 978, and are not cited specifically here. This summary does not contain either a comprehensive bibliography or a comparison of the metamorphic histories of south-eastern Alaska with the adjacent parts of British Columbia.

The Coast plutonic-metamorphic complex is here divided into three major elements: the western metamorphic, the central granitic and the eastern metamorphic zones (Fig. 1). The western metamorphic belt is extremely long (900 km), and narrow (7–25 km). It consists of regional dynamothermally and regional thermally metamorphosed rocks with mineral assemblages ranging from prehnite-pumpellyite to upper amphibolite facies, scattered mesozonal to epizonal granitic bodies, and a few concentrically zoned mafic-ultramafic masses. The metamorphic grade and the amount of deformation increase from south-west to north-east, culminating at, or slightly to the north-east of, the ‘great tonalite sill’: a remarkable 700-km-long, 3- to 25-km-wide vertical to northeast-dipping belt of mostly syntectonic plutons of approximately the same age, composition and structural

Citation Information

Publication Year 1989
Title Evolution of the western part of the Coast plutonic–metamorphic complex, South-Eastern Alaska, USA: A summary
DOI 10.1144/GSL.SP.1989.043.01.40
Authors David A. Brew, A. B. Ford, G. R. Himmelberg
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geological Society Special Publication
Index ID 70209350
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center