Regional overview and workshop theme David Foster - University of Florida Paul Mueller - University of Florida David Mogk - Montana State University • Theme: >3.5 Ga of lithospheric evolution: segregation from the mantle, stabilization and modification. • This area contains the largest record of major lithospheric events to be analyzed by EarthScope. • The Archean lithosphere of Wyoming is still being modified thermally and chemically by the Yellowstone system Goals: • • • • • • • Identify major geological problems that EarthScope can help address Identify what additional groundwork needs to be done to maximize EarthScope results Formulate hypotheses and pose tests of the major questions Prioritize major objectives and possible additional projects to maximize gains while the instruments are active in the area Plan education and outreach activities Inform and engage the public Integrate Northern Rockies research in to broader EarthScope science goals SW Laurentian Basement • • • • • • Complex mosaic of Archean and Proterozoic lithospheric blocks Poorly exposed outside of Laramide basement uplifts What are the province boundaries? Do the provinces extend into the mantle lithosphere? How was the basement and lithosphere modified by younger events? What is the nature of the edge of Laurentia – • Has the ancient structure played a roll in Phanerozoic tectonomagmatic events? – • Idaho shear zone? Does it continue to do so today? What constitutes a craton in terms of geochemical and geophysical properties Margins of Wyoming craton • • • • • • Nature of the Great Falls tectonic zone and relationship to THO Selway accreted terrane Medicine Hat block - how far does it extend? Priest River block - is it a separate late ArcheanPaleoproterozoic block? How do terranes defined by magnetic data equate to crustal and lithospheric structure? Does the basement surface map equate to what is at depth in the lower crust and mantle lithosphere? – probably not Sims et al. (2004) Deep Crustal & Lithospheric Investigations • LITHOPROBE DEEPPROBE seismic data & U-Pb ages of xenoliths suggest that a thick Paleoproterozoic mafic underplate underlies the northern Wyoming province • Underplate could be a major source for tonalitegrandiorite magmas. Many of these plutons age give Nd TDM = 184.108.40.206 Ga (e.g. Tobacco Root) • is some of it Archean? • Implications for PC orogeny and cratonization • Less data than southern Rocky Mountains Clowes et al., 2002 Belt basin and Neoproterozoic rift • • • • What controlled rift geometry? What drove rifting? How was the crust modified? Metallogenesis and magmatism – Western edge of Belt basin? Is most of it here or is most of it missing? • • • • What is the Lewis and Clark line & other tectonostratigraphic boundaries? Implications of recently recognized widespread Neoproterozoic rocks west of Belt basin in Idaho Was the margin truncated What age is the reentrant? – Neoprotoeroic or Mesozoic or both Cordilleran Orogen • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Rich and complex history of continental modification Cretaceous-Eocene magmatic provinces Cordilleran fold-thrust belt Laramide basement uplifts Eocene metamorphic core complexes Cenozoic-Recent magmatism Mineralized zones Mesozoic accreted terranes Idaho shear zone Lewis and Clark fault zone Hot Spot Neotectonics Seismic activity Shallow subduction Slab window SW Montana magmatic province • • • • Orthogonal to orogen axis Intruded well into foreland at ~75 Ma Relationships between thrusts and plutons Basement control, shallow subduction, or truncated margin? Lithospheric response to tectonics through time • • • • In southern Rocky Mts major variations in strength and fertility occur between the Phanerozoic and Proterozoic lithosphere In northern Rocky Mts there are major differences in strength and partial melt productivity between the Proterozoic and Archean as well. How far northeast did the effects of Laramide shallow subduction extend? Asthospheric upwelling at 54-50 Ma (older than in the south) Humphreys et al., 2003 Lewis and Clark fault zone • • • • Basin bounding fault along axis of Belt basin A lateral ramp during CretaceousPaleocene thrusting A dextral accommodation zone during Eocene extension Basement control? Eocene extension and magmatism • • • • Reworking lower crust Collapse of orogenic wedge Lithospheric response to a slap window? Relationship between magmatism and extension – e.g., Bitterroot - older, deep Eocene plutons in footwall, younger shallow plutons and volcanic rocks in hanging wall Integration Relationships between Precambrian provinces and Phanerozoic tectonomagmatic provinces The Yellowstone system is currently modifying the Archean lithosphere of Wyoming. What is the nature of the hot spot? Is there lithospheric control on the neotectonics and magmatism? Humphreys et al., 2000 Summary • Understanding the processes by which the Rocky Mountains lithosphere formed and evolves requires the integration of many disciplines (structural geology, geochemistry, petrology, geophysics, geochronology, geomorphology, etc.). • EarthScope resources can play a pivotal role in elucidating the complex history of the northern Rocky Mountains, and thereby add significantly to our understanding of both crustal genesis and continental evolution, by providing images of crust and mantle structures to combine with the age and composition information of material added to the continental crust. Example Questions for Northern Rockies Workshop Discussion • How did the ancient lithosphere and structures control crustal evolution? • What is the structure of the oldest craton in southern Laurentia? • How are cratons stabilized and once “cratonized” how are they reactivated? • Is there a typical crustal/lithospheric structure associated with major mineralization? • How strong is crust in orogenic zones and why does it extend? • The nature of magmatic underplating and repeated mafic magma intrusion in the craton? • Is the Yellowstone Hot Spot a deep mantle plume? • How diffuse is the plate boundary of western North American? • What is driving modern extension and seismicity? • Why are the Northern Rocky Mountains still at high elevation? • How has the Cenozoic-Recent magmatism in the Snake River Plain modified the lithosphere? • What is the large-scale structure of the Mesoproterozoic Belt basin? • Can we answer all important questions with passive seismic? • What other methods are needed? • What is the best way to involve educators and public in the science of EarthScope?