During dextral oblique translation along Laurentia in western Idaho, the Blue Mountains superterrane underwent clockwise rotation and impinged into the Syringa embayment at the northern end of the Salmon River suture. Along the suture, the superterrane is juxtaposed directly against western Laurentia, making this central Cordilleran accretionary-margin segment unusually attenuated. In the embayment, limited orthogonal contraction produced a crustal wedge of oceanic rocks that delaminated Laurentian crust. The wedge is exposed through Laurentian crust in the Coolwater culmination as documented by mapping and by sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe U-Pb, Sri, and ??Nd data for gneisses that lie inboard of the suture. The predominant country rock is Mesoproterozoic paragneiss overlying Laurentian basement. An overlying Neoproterozoic (or younger) paragneiss belt in the Syringa embayment establishes the form of the Cordilleran miogeocline and that the embayment is a relict of Rodinia rifting. An underlying Cretaceous paragneiss was derived from arc terranes and suture-zone orogenic welt but also from Laurentia. The Cretaceous paragneiss and an 86-Ma orthogneiss that intruded it formed the wedge of oceanic rocks that were inserted into the Laurentian margin between 98 and 73 Ma, splitting supracrustal Laurentian rocks from their basement. Crustal thickening, melting and intrusion within the wedge, and folding to form the Coolwater culmination continued until 61 Ma. The embayment formed a restraining bend at the end of the dextral transpressional suture. Clockwise rotation of the impinging superterrane and overthrusting of Laurentia that produced the crustal wedge in the Coolwater culmination are predicted by oblique collision into the Syringa embayment. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional publication details
Coolwater culmination: Sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) U-Pb and isotopic evidence for continental delamination in the Syringa Embayment, Salmon River suture, Idaho