A Progress Report on Stratigraphic Investigations of the Lowermost Succession of Proterozoic Rocks, Northern Wernecke Mountains, Yukon

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This interim report has reviewed stratigraphic characteristics of the lowermost succession of Proterozoic rocks exposed in the northern Wernecke Mountains. This sequence of rocks, which is in excess of 13 km thick, is named the Wernecke Supergroup. The Wernecke Supergroup is composed of three groups which from oldest to youngest are given the informal names Fairchild Lake Group, Quartet Group and Gillespie Lake Group. Several tentative subdivisions of formational status have been described in each of these groups. The Fairchild Lake Group is composed of at least 4 km of generally light grey weathering siltstones, slates and argillites. It is divided into four formations, two of which contain carbonate members:: one formation near the middle of the group, contains ribbed weathering, thinly bedded, siltstone-limestone rhythmites; the other formation at the top of the group consists of interbedded shaly siltstone and dolostone with a distinctive white weathering limestone marker horizon. The Quartet Group, which conformably overlies the Fairchild Lake Group, consists of up to 5 km of monotonous dark grey weathering siltstone, argillite and slate with minor sandstone. The Quartet Group is transitional into the overlying Gillespie Lake Group which is compposed of at least 4 km buff to orange to locally grey weathering dolostone with minor siltstone and sandstone. Metamorphism, faulting, complex folds, the monotonous and cyclical nature of stratigraphy, the lack of distinctive marker horizons and the possibility of facies changes have greatly hindered attempts at stratigraphic reconstruction in rocks of the Wernecke Supergroup. Thus much of the stratigraphic detail within the groups must be considered tentative in nature. Field investigations to be undertaken during the summer of 1978 will help further refine the stratigraphic relationships outlined above. An Appendix to this report contains 19 representative stratigraphic sections which illustrate the main features of these rocks and a 1::250 000 location map showing where the sections are from.

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