2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)

Paper No. 17
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM


MILLER, Brendan, Geology Dept, Western Washington University, 516 High St, Bellingham, WA 98225-9080 and HOUSEN, Bernard A., Geology Department, Western Washington University, 516 High St, Bellingham, WA 98225-9080, bac.miller@gmail.com

Paleomagnetic studies of plutonic rocks, although subject to uncertainty due to lack of paleohorizontal control, can provide important constrains of patterns of regional deformation, and can play a role in evaluation of tectonic models and reconstructions. Many plutonic rocks of the Cascades have been well-studied via paleomagnetism, but there are many that lack robust data sets. One such pluton, the Beckler Peak stock, is a late Cretaceous tonalitic stock, with biotite and amphibole K-Ar ages of 93 to 82 Ma (Engels and Crowder, 1971, Yeats and Engels, 1971). The Beckler Peak stock is considered to be a companion body to the larger Mt. Stuart Batholith, but is separated from the Mt. Stuart Batholith by the Evergreen Fault.

For this study five paleomagnetic sites were sampled from the Beckler Peak stock near Skykomish, Washington. After low temperature and thermal demagnetization site means were calculated for the four sites where at least two samples survived demagnetization. Unblocking temperatures were indicative of magnetite and hematite as the carriers of remanence. Two of the site means were disregarded due to anomalous directions likely due to sites being from very large slump blocks. The two acceptable site means, along with a Beckler Peak stock site mean from Beck and Noson (1972) and another from Housen et al. (2003) give a stock-wide mean of D = 3.8°, I = 41.9°, k = 32.9, and α95 = 16.2°. This direction is consistent with mean directions for the Mount Stuart batholith determined by Beck and Noson (1972), Beck et al. (1981), and Housen et al. (2003). This directional consistency supports an association between the Beckler Peak stock and the Mt. Stuart Batholith, or at least that these two plutonic bodies were emplaced in the same structural block, and that any post-magnetization deformation (such as rotation and/or tilt associated with the Evergreen Fault) between the Beckler Peak stock and the Mt. Stuart Batholith was minor.