Paper No. 5-1
Presentation Time: 8:05 AM
THE NORTH AMERICAN CORDILLERAN ANATECTIC BELT (Invited Presentation)
The North American Cordilleran Anatectic Belt (CAB) is a ~3,000 km long region in the hinterland of the Cordillera that comprises numerous exposures of Late Cretaceous to Eocene intrusive rocks and anatectic rocks associated with crustal melting. It is comparable in size and volume to major anatectic provinces including the Himalayan leucogranite belt. The CAB rocks are chiefly peraluminous, muscovite-bearing leucogranite produced primarily by anatexis of Proterozoic to Archean metasedimentary rocks. The CAB rocks lack extrusive equivalents and were typically emplaced as thick sheets, laccoliths, and dike/sill complexes. The extent, location, and age of the CAB suggests that it is integral to understanding the tectonic evolution of North America, however, the belt is rarely considered as a whole. This paper reviews localities associated with crustal melting in the CAB and compiles geochemical, geochronologic, and isotopic data to evaluate the melt conditions and processes that generated these rocks. The geochemistry and partial melting temperatures (ca. 675–775 ◦C) support water-absent muscovite dehydration melting and/or water-deficient melting as the primary melt reactions and are generally inconsistent with water-excess melting and high-temperature (biotite to amphibole) dehydration melting. The CAB rocks are oldest in the central U.S. Cordillera and become younger towards both the north and south. At any single location, partial melting appears to have been a protracted process (≥10 Myr) and evidence for re-melting and remobilization of magmas is common. End-member hypotheses for the origin of the CAB include decompression, crustal thickening, fluid-flux melting, and increased heat flux from the mantle. Different parts of the CAB support different hypotheses and no single model may be able to explain the entirety of the anatectic event.