Paleomagnetism of the Tertiary Clarno Formation of central Oregon and its significance for the tectonic history of the Pacific Northwest

Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
By: , and 

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Abstract

The Clarno Formation, a mostly Eocene and partly early Oligocene sequence of andesitic lavas and volcaniclastic rocks, is the oldest Tertiary formation exposed in north central Oregon. Remanent magnetization directions at 46 sites in the lavas provide a paleomagnetic pole at 84°N, 278°E with a 95% confidence cone of 7°. Comparison of this pole with the North American reference pole for Eocene time indicates that the Clarno Formation has rotated 16° clockwise with an uncertainty of 10° but has undergone no significant latitudinal displacement. Further comparison with paleomagnetic data from the Miocene Columbia River Basalt Group and Steens Basalt shows that large‐scale block rotations in the eastern Columbia Embayment ceased sometime between 38 m.y. and 15 m.y. A paleogeographic reconstruction for 38 m.y. is offered which is consistent with the observed rotation of the Clarno and with the other paleomagnetic data from the Pacific Northwest, which are briefly reviewed. This reconstruction shows that it is possible to account for virtually all of the paleomagnetically indicated rotations in pre‐Miocene Tertiary rocks of the Pacific Northwest by an extensional tectonic model. As a consequence, only part of the rotations in the pre‐Tertiary rocks of the eastern Columbia Embayment need to be the result of accretionary tectonics. The initiation of magmatism in the eastern Columbia Embayment that is represented by the Clarno Formation itself may have been contemporaneous with the beginning of crustal extension in the Pacific Northwest.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Paleomagnetism of the Tertiary Clarno Formation of central Oregon and its significance for the tectonic history of the Pacific Northwest
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
DOI 10.1029/JB091iB14p14089
Volume 91
Issue B14
Year Published 1986
Language English
Publisher AGU
Contributing office(s) Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description 15 p.
First page 14089
Last page 14103