Resolving the Architecture and Early Evolution of a Forearc Basin (Georgia Basin, Canada) Using Detrital Zircon

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Graduate student (PhD)
Final version published as: 

Huang, C., Dashtgard, S.E., Kent, B.A.P. et al. Resolving the Architecture and Early Evolution of a Forearc Basin (Georgia Basin, Canada) Using Detrital Zircon. Sci Rep 9, 15360 (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-51795-5


Date created: 

Convergent-margin basins (CMBs) are commonly associated with active arcs, and hence are rich in detrital zircon (DZ) whose ages closely reflect the timing of deposition. Consequently, maximum depositional ages (MDA) from DZ geochronology can be employed to resolve the stratigraphy and evolution of CMBs. Herein, we use DZ to revise the internal architecture of the lower Nanaimo Group, which partially comprises the fill of the (forearc) Georgia (or Nanaimo) Basin. Maximum depositional ages and multi-dimensional scaling of DZ age distributions are employed to determine chronologic equivalency of strata and assess sediment provenance variability within the pre-existing lithostratigraphic framework. The results are compared to a recently developed sequence stratigraphic framework for the lower Nanaimo Group. The basal lithostratigraphic unit of the Nanaimo Group, the Comox Formation (Fm), comprises strata that are neither time correlative nor genetically related. The three lithostratigraphic units directly overlying the Comox Fm (Haslam, Extension, and Protection formations) comprise strata with similar genetic affinities and MDAs that indicate deposition of these units was not always sequential and locally was contemporaneous. Through this work, we provide an example of how MDAs from DZ geochronology in CMBs can resolve basin-scale stratigraphic relations, and identify chronological changes in sediment provenance.

Document type: 
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)