Paleomagnetic results are reported for the ∼59 Ma Skagway, ∼54 Ma Fraser, ∼53 Ma Summit Lake, and ∼48 Ma Clifton felsic plutons of the eastern Coast Plutonic Complex (CPC) that outcrop along the south Klondike Highway in Alaska and British Columbia. Thermal and alternating field step demagnetizing methods yielded stable characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) directions for all 29 sites of normal, reversed, and mixed polarity. The ChRM resides in single or pseudosingle domain magnetite and (or) pyrrhotite that is shown to be primary by contact tests with the ∼47 Ma vertical White Pass mafic dikes. Paleopoles from six 56 to 50 Ma (mean 52 ± 2 Ma) Intermontane Belt – Yukon–Tanana terrane (IMB–YTT) units that cannot be explained by tectonic tilt are compared with nine clustered 59 to 46 Ma (mean 52 ± 4 Ma) eastern CPC paleopoles. Both paleopole populations show nonsignificant poleward (northward) translation relative to North America (IMB–YTT, 3.7° ± 5.3°N; CPC, 4.3° ± 6.4°S; overall, 1.2° ± 4.9°S), indicating that northward translation of the accreted terranes ended by ∼58 Ma. Conversely, both populations show clockwise (CW) rotation that is either highly significant or substantial (IMB–YTT, 19.3° ± 10.5 °CW; CPC, 7.1° ± 16.1 °CW; overall 12.8° ± 10.9 °CW). The results are best explained by tectonic rotation from ∼50 to ∼45 Ma of the IMB–YTT as a thin-skin on top of North America during emplacement and co-incident rotation of the massive Eocene plutons of the eastern CPC along the North American margin.
- Received June 3, 2010.
- Accepted October 21, 2010.
- Published on the NRC Research Press Web site at http://cjes.nrc.ca on March 14, 2011.