ESTABLISHING CORDILLERAN PALEOGEOGRAPHY DURING LATE MESOZOIC CONTINENTAL MAGMATIC ARC FLARE-UP EVENT (105-85MA) IN EAST-CENTRAL SIERRA NEVADA, CALIFORNIA
Thin section analysis of two distinct layers within the carbonate reveals differing modal percentages of large calcite zones displaying undulose extinction, which are interpreted as recrystallization, juxtaposed against fine-grained unaltered limestone. The two carbonate layers yield 87Sr/86Sr isotopic ratios of 0.7072 and 0.7068 and were determined to be an unreliable fit to the 87Sr/86Sr isotopic ratio of contemporaneous marine water. A two-point linear regression, however, compares the degree of recrystallization to 87Sr/86Sr isotopic ratio and suggests that an unrecrystallized limestone would have a higher initial ratio of 0.7074.
A comparison of the marble’s 87Sr/86Sr isotopic ratios and its stratigraphically constrained ages of 101-99 Ma nicely match with the well-established marine curve database of 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratio fluctuation through time. This proxy suggests that the marble’s environment of origination is marine rather than lacustrine, which suggests an alternative interpretation of the mid-Cretaceous paleogeography characterized by calm coastal ocean fingering into and around island volcanoes.