New 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology results and thermal modeling support the hypothesis of Hollister et al. (2004), that reheating of the mid-Cretaceous Ecstall pluton by intrusion of the Coast Mountains Batholith (CMB) was responsible for spatially variable remagnetization of the Ecstall pluton. 40Ar/39Ar ages from hornblende and biotite from 12 locations along the Skeena River across the northern part of the Ecstall pluton decrease with proximity to the Quottoon plutonic complex, the nearest member of the CMB to the Ecstall pluton. The oldest 40Ar/39Ar ages are found farthest from the Quottoon plutonic complex, and are 90 ± 3 Ma for hornblende, and 77.9 ± 1.2 Ma for biotite. The youngest40Ar/39Ar ages are found closest to the Quottoon plutonic complex, and are 51.6 ± 1.2 Ma for hornblende, and 45.3 ± 1.7 Ma for biotite. No obvious relationship between grain size and age is seen in the Ecstall pluton biotites. Spatial trends in 40Ar/39Ar ages are consistent with model results for reheating by a thermal wall at the location of the Quottoon plutonic complex. Although no unique solution is suggested, our results indicate that the most appropriate thermal history for the Ecstall pluton includes both reheating and northeast side up tilting of the Ecstall pluton associated with intrusion of the Quottoon plutonic complex. Estimates of northward translation from shallow paleomagnetic inclinations in the western part of the Ecstall pluton are reduced to ∼3000 km, consistent with the Baja-BC hypothesis, when northeast side up tilting is accounted for.
Geochemistry | Geology
Brownlee S. J. and Renne P. R. (2010) Thermal history of the Ecstall pluton from 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and thermal modeling. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 74, 4357-4391, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2010.04.023.