The collision and accretion of the Alexander terrane profoundly influenced the geologic history of Alaska and western Canada; however, the terrane's displacement history is only poorly constrained by sparse paleomagnetic studies. We studied the paleomagnetism of the Hound Island Volcanics in order to evaluate the location of the Alexander terrane in Late Triassic time. We collected 618 samples at 102 sites in and near the Keku Strait, Alaska, from the Late Triassic Hound Island Volcanics, the Permian Pybus Formation, and 23-Ma gabbroic intrusions. We found three components of magnetization in the Hound Island Volcanics. The high-temperature component (component A) resides in hematite and magnetite and was found only in highly oxidized lava flows in a geographically restricted area. We think it is primary, or acquired soon after eruption of the lavas, principally because the directions pass a fold test. The paleolatitude indicated by this component (19.2° ± 10.3°) is similar to those determined for various portions of Wrangellia, consistent with the geologic interpretation that the Alexander terrane was with the Wrangellia terrane in Late Triassic time. We found two overprint directions in the Hound Island Volcanics. Component B was acquired 23 m.y. ago due to intrusion of gabbroic dikes and sills. This interpretation is indicated by the similarity of upper-hemisphere directions in the Hound Island Volcanics to those in the gabbro. Component C, found in both the Hound Island Volcanics and the Permian Pybus Formation, is oriented northeast and down, fails a regional fold test, and was acquired after regional deformation around 90 to 100 Ma. This overprint direction yields a paleolatitude similar to, but slightly higher than, slightly older rocks from the Coast Plutonic Complex, suggesting that the Alexander terrane was displaced 17° in early Late Cretaceous time. The occurrence of these two separate overprinting events provides a satisfying explanation of the earlier puzzling results from the Hound Island Volcanics (Hillhouse and Grommé, 1980). Finally, great-circle analysis of the paleomagnetic data from the Pybus Formation suggests the Alexander terrane may have been in the northern hemisphere in Permian time.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Paleomagnetism of the Late Triassic Hound Island Volcanics: Revisited|
|Series title||Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth|
|Contributing office(s)||Alaska Science Center|