Session 2

Lithospheric Evolution of the Canadian Cordillera and its Antecedents

Conveners: Phil McCausland1

1Western University, email:

Session Description

North America has faced an oceanic realm to its west for the entire Phanerozoic, across active, evolving plate boundaries. Before that, the northwestern margin of Laurentia interacted with other continents, terranes and oceanic lithosphere during the Precambrian. The Canadian Cordillera and adjacent regions are a product of this integrated margin history, in response to mantle geodynamics, rifting and pervasive subduction processes, terrane accretion and orogeny. Twenty years ago the LITHOPROBE program drew together researchers to make new advances in understanding the Cordillera and adjacent craton through integrating geophysical and geological studies. In this session we invite contributions and reviews of this enduring problem in light of new data, new concepts and insights from analogous geodynamic and tectonic settings. Some current controversies include: What is the origin and history of Precambrian cratons in NW Laurentia and the exotic Paleozoic terranes now present in the Northern Cordillera? How did subduction evolve along the margin during the Mesozoic – Cenozoic? How and when did the Northern Cordillera become so hot? What is the driver for Eocene-to-present continued mobility of inboard elements of the orogen, as seen in seismicity, GPS data and paleomagnetism?

We invite participants to also join in a Townhall discussion on the EON-ROSE proposal to build an integrated geoscience program around transportable seismic stations in the Cordillera and across Canada.

Session sponsored by CGU Solid Earth Section and GAC Geophysics Division.

Primary Affiliation: Solid Earth