Protolith of ultramafic rocks in the Kluane Schist, Yukon, and implications for arc collisions in the northern Cordillera




Canil, Dante
Johnston, Stephen T.
D'Souza, Rameses J.
Heaman, Larry M.

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Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences


Mafic and ultramafic rocks crop out as decimetre- to centimetre-sized bodies of talc–antigorite–olivine (±orthopyroxene) and chlorite–amphibole schists interleaved in the pelitic Kluane Schist of southwestern Yukon. The metamorphic assemblages in ultramafic rocks exposed at Doghead Point overprint two generations of cleavage and are consistent with metamorphism reaching >550 °C (talc + olivine) and >750 °C (olivine + enstatite) in the contact aureole of the Eocene Ruby Range batholith. The bulk rock major and trace element patterns in the ultramafic schists (>40 wt.% MgO, Mg/(Mg + Fe) > 0.90) are unlike residual mantle from partial melting (i.e., ophiolite, orogenic massif, abyssal ocean floor) but are similar to peridotite or pyroxenite cumulates from arc magmas. Identical trace element concentrations and patterns are observed in several late Triassic basalts, pyroxenites, and websterites occurring to the southeast in Stikinia (present coordinates). A highly discordant U–Pb zircon date for one antigorite–talc–olivine schist sample (200–210 Ma) is within the range of U–Pb zircon ages for the late Triassic Lewes River – Stuhini arc in northwestern Stikinia (200–208 Ma, 216–220 Ma). When combined with other published age information, the ultramafic rocks in the Kluane Schist are interpreted as fragments of deeper arc-related mafic and ultramafic intrusive rocks introduced to the Kluane forearc basin between 95 and 82 Ma by exhumation along shear zones in northwestern Stikinia, most likely the Wann River or Llewellyn Faults. The Kluane Schist represents a west-facing forearc basin bordered to the east by arc-parallel strike-slip fault(s) that served to exhume and imbricate large knockers into the accretionary prism.



ultramafic, geochemistry, petrology, Yukon, Cordillera


Canil, D., Johnston, S.T., D’Souza, R.J., Heaman, L.M. (2015). Protolith for ultramafic rocks in the Kluane Schist, Yukon, and implications for arc collisions in the northern Cordillera. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 52(7), 431‐443.