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Geological Sciences

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Amphibolite-facies Proterozoic metasedimentary rocks below the low-angle Cenozoic Boundary Canyon Detachment record deep crustal processes related to Mesozoic crustal thickening and subsequent extension. A 91.5 ± 1.4 Ma Th-Pb SHRIMP-RG (sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe–reverse geometry) monazite age from garnet-kyanite-staurolite schist constrains the age of prograde metamorphism in the lower plate. Between the Boundary Canyon Detachment and the structurally deeper, subparallel Monarch Spring fault, prograde metamorphic fabrics are overprinted by a pervasive greenschist-facies retrogression, high-strain subhorizontal mylonitic foliation, and a prominent WNW-ESE stretching lineation parallel to corrugations on the Boundary Canyon Detachment. Granitic pegmatite dikes are deformed, rotated into parallelism, and boudinaged within the mylonitic foliation. High-U zircons from one muscovite granite dike yield an 85.8 ± 1.4 Ma age. Below the Monarch Spring fault, retrogression is minor, and amphibolite-facies mineral elongation lineations plunge gently north to northeast. Multiple generations of variably deformed dikes, sills, and leucosomal segregations indicate a more complex history of partial melting and intrusion compared to that above the Monarch Spring fault, but thermobarometry on garnet amphibolites above and below the Monarch Spring fault record similar peak conditions of 620–680 °C and 7–9 kbar, indicating minor (<3–5 km) structural omission across the Monarch Spring fault. Discordant SHRIMP-RG U-Pb zircon ages and 75–88 Ma Th-Pb monazite ages from leucosomal segregations in paragneisses suggest that partial melting of Proterozoic sedimentary protoliths was a source for the structurally higher 86 Ma pegmatites. Two weakly deformed two-mica leucogranite dikes that cut the high-grade metamorphic fabrics below the Monarch Spring fault yield 62.3 ± 2.6 and 61.7 ± 4.7 Ma U-Pb zircon ages, and contain 1.5–1.7 Ga cores. The similarity of metamorphic, leucosome, and pegmatite ages to the period of Sevier belt thrusting and the period of most voluminous Sierran arc magmatism suggests that both burial by thrusting and regional magmatic heating contributed to metamorphism and subsequent partial melting.


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Geological Society of America Special Papers