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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review

Geology of the Clearwater-Vavenby-Adams Plateau Area
(NTS 082M, 092P)


Paper 1987 - 2

by P. Schiarizza and V. Preto

Title Page, Summary, Table of Contents, Chapter 1-2 (PDF, 11.6MB)

Chapter 3-4, Appendices (PDF, 6.83MB)


Paper 1987-2 describes the geology and mineral deposits of the Adams Plateau - Clearwater - Vavenby map area, an area that covers 3500 square kilometres within the Shuswap Highland of south-central British Columbia.  It is centred 80 kilometres north-northeast of Kamloops and is bounded by latitudes 5l degrees, 0 minutes and 51 degrees, 45 minutes north, and longitudes 119 degrees, 30 minutes and 120 degrees, 15 minutes west.  The topography is dominated by the North Thompson River valley in the north and west, and the Adams Lake valley in the east.


The map area covers a belt of structurally complex low-grade metamorphic rocks that lies along the western margin of the Omineca Belt.  It is flanked by high-grade metamorphic rocks of the Shuswap Complex to the east and by rocks of the Intermontane Belt to the west.  The area is underlain mainly by Paleozoic metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks of the Eagle Bay Assemblage and the Fennel Formation.  Late Devonian granitic orthogneiss locally intrudes Eagle Bay rocks.  The Paleozoic rocks are cut by mid Cretaceous granodiorite and quartz monzonite of the Raft and Baldy batholiths, and by Early Tertiary quartz feldspar porphyry, basalt and lamprophyre dykes.  They are locally overlain by Eocene sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Kamloops Group and by Miocene plateau lavas.


The Paleozoic rocks occur in four structural slices separated by southwesterly-directed thrust faults.  The upper three fault slices contain only Eagle Bay rocks, while the lowest slice comprises Eagle Bay strata structurally overlain by the Fennell Formation.


Rocks assigned to the Eagle Bay Assemblage range in age from Early Cambrian to Late Mississippian.  They are in part correlative with Paleozoic successions in the Kootenay Arc and in the Barkerville-Cariboo River area.  The oldest Eagle Bay rocks comprise quartzites and quartzose schists overlain by a unit of predominantly mafic metavolcanic rocks and limestone which, at one locality, contains Lower Cambrian archaeocyathids.  An undated package of grit, phyllite, carbonate and metavolcanic rocks overlies the Early Cambrian succession.  It is locally overlain by calcareous phyllite and associated calc-silicate schist and skarn or by mafic metavolcanic rocks.  The upper part of the Eagle Bay Assemblage comprises a Devono-Mississippian succession consisting of felsic metavolcanic rocks overlain by intermediate, locally alkalic, metavolcanics and fine to coarse-grained clastic metasediments. These Devono-Mississippian rocks may be separated from older portions of the Eagle Bay Assemblage by a significant unconformity.  Late Devonian orthogneiss that intrudes Eagle Bay rocks is probably related to the felsic metavolcanics.


The Fennell Formation comprises imbricated oceanic rocks of Slide Mountain terrane that were tectonically emplaced onto Mississippian clastic rocks of the Eagle Bay Assemblage prior to synmetamorphic southwesterly directed folding and thrusting.  The formation comprises two major divisions. The lower structural division is a heterogeneous assemblage of bedded chert, gabbro, diabase, pillowed basalt, sandstone, quartz-feldspar-porphyry rhyolite and intraformational conglomerate.  Conodonts extracted from bedded chert range in age from Early Mississippian to Middle Permian, while zircons extracted from quartz feldspar porphyry yield a Devonian uranium-lead age. The distribution of dated units indicates that the lower division is segmented into at least three and locally four imbricate thrust slices.  The upper division consists almost entirely of pillowed and massive basalt, together with minor amounts of bedded chert and gabbro.  Conodonts from two separate chert lenses within the division are respectively Early (?) Pennsylvanian and Middle Permian in age. The two divisions are therefore the same age, at least in part, and are inferred to be separated by a thrust fault.


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