My thesis aims to improve our understanding of the Paleozoic evolution of the distal Cordilleran margin that is presently represented by deformed and variably metamorphosed volcanic and sedimentary successions in the Selkirk Mountains near Revelstoke and Trout Lake, British Columbia. I hope to resolve several important questions of Cordilleran geology such as “Why does the lower Paleozoic distal margin record tectonic instability while the coeval shelf was a passive margin?” and “Did hypothesized Devono-Mississippian deformation in the southern Canadian Cordillera actually occur, and, if so, what caused it?” Through field investigations and geochemistry, I will estimate the tectonic settings of and potential for syn-depositional sulphide deposits within the studied strata.
Detailed and regional geological mapping on foot (and from vehicles, bicycles, boats, atv’s, and helicopters) is the foundation of this project. A substantial data set of detrital zircon ages that I am generating at the University of Alberta using laser ablation U-Pb geochronology constrains the paleogeography and ancient sediment dispersal systems of this part of North America. Data collected thus far substantiate earlier hypotheses that propose the existence of Paleozoic intra-Cordilleran continental highs with North American, including Grenville-age, crustal components, and may even constrain reconstructions of the hypothetical Neoproterozoic supercontinent, Rodinia