RECONSTRUCTING EOCENE TOPOGRAPHY AND VOLCANISM IN THE NORTH AMERICAN CORDILLERAN HINTERLAND, SOUTHERN BRITISH COLUMBIA
Deposition of regional basin sediments occurred in nonmarine environments and includes pebble to boulder conglomerate, sandstone, and finely laminated organic-rich claystone to siltstone. Hydrogen stable isotope analyses of meteoric waters preserved in volcanic glass from interbedded tuffs provide insights into the evolution of paleotopography and climate. Here we present preliminary results of volcanic glass stable isotope analyses and stratigraphy from McAbee, BC and Princeton, BC.
McAbee sedimentary units include organic-rich, finely laminated claystones to sandstones, with interbedded volcanic tuffs representing episodic distal volcanic ash deposition in a fluvial-lacustrine setting. Clast-supported pebble-cobble volcaniclastic conglomerates represent proximal volcanic deposition in a fluvial setting. Stable isotope analyses of the interbedded volcanic tuffs show a decrease in δDglass values with movement up section from -109‰ to -115‰ (± 3.5‰ for all but one sample). This may be a response to decreased evaporation, increased inflow, or a response to tectonics. An ignimbrite sample from Princeton showed a δDglass value of -134‰ (± 2‰). This sample is recording deposition of an ignimbrite in a fluvial-floodplain setting and likely represents the composition of Eocene precipitation. Further analyses of Eocene sedimentary and volcanic units, including detailed stratigraphy, glass TREE analyses, volcanic glass paleoaltimetry, and 40Ar/39Ar radiometric dating, across the region are needed to correlate strata between basins, reconstruct the paleotopography, and constrain the timing and magnitude of volcanism. These analyses will test proposed regional tectonic, geodynamic, and climatic models during the Eocene.