New paleontologic and isotopic data from the Emma Creek and Marion Creek schists of the Coldfoot terrane, Arctic Alaska superterrane, central Brooks Range, suggest Devonian and possibly younger ages of deposition for their sedimentary protoliths. Conodonts from marble of the Emma Creek schist, intruded by a roughly 392 Ma orthogneiss, are late Lochkovian (early Early Devonian, between about 408 and 396 Ma) and Silurian to Devonian at two other locations. Spherical to oblong detrital zircons from quartz-mica schist of the overlying Marion Creek schist yield mostly discordant U-Pb data suggestive of provenance ages of 3.0, 2.0-1.8, and 1.5-1.4 Ga; however, several euhedral grains of zircon from Marion Creek quartz-mica schist have concordant U-Pb ages from 370 to 360 Ma. The Marion Creek schist in our study area therefore is at least 26 m.y. younger than the Emma Creek schist. The age data imply that the protolith of the Emma Creek schist is age correlative with Devonian carbonate rocks in the Hammond and North Slope terranes, whereas the Marion Creek schist is age correlative with Upper Devonian and Lower Mississippian clastic sedimentary rocks of the Endicott Group in the Endicott Mountains terrane and shale and carbonate units in the De Long Mountains and Sheenjek River terranes. Consequently, tectonic models restoring the entire Coldfoot terrane beneath partly or wholly coeval rocks of the Hammond, Endicott Mountains, De Long Mountains, and Sheenjek River terranes of the Arctic Alaska superterrane require revision. Alternative reconstructions, including restoration of the Coldfoot terrane inboard of the Endicott Mountains terrane or outboard of the De Long Mountains and Sheenjek River terranes are plausible but require either larger amounts of shortening than previously suggested or indicate problematic facies relations. copyright. Published in 1997 by the American Geophysical Union.
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Stratigraphic and structural implications of conodont and detrital zircon U-Pb ages from metamorphic rocks of the Coldfoot terrane, Brooks Range, Alaska