The Farewell terrane of western Alaska is one of the more remote and understudied crustal fragments in the North American Cordillera. Although it is generally accepted that the oldest, Precambrian parts of the Farewell terrane originated along the Arctic margin (i.e., Siberia), the paleogeographic history of the Farewell terrane during much of the middle and late Paleozoic remains unknown. Here, we present new sedimentologic and provenance data from upper Paleozoic clastic strata of the Mystic subterrane, which represents the youngest part of the Farewell terrane. Sedimentary facies consist of high- and low-density sediment-gravity-flow deposits and are interpreted to represent a submarine fan depositional system. Sandstone modal composition trends show a relative abundance of lithic volcanic fragments (∼65%) and subordinate occurrences of lithic sedimentary fragments (∼15%) and chert (∼13%). Laser-ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry analyses of detrital zircons reveal a bulk U-Pb age distribution of Precambrian–Paleozoic grains. U-Pb detrital zircon age spectra from Mississippian strata have a primary peak age between 400 and 325 Ma and secondary peak ages between 480 and 415 Ma and 2000 and 1800 Ma. Devonian–Mississippian zircons exhibit enriched εHf, isotopic values (–3 to –35), whereas Ordovician–Silurian zircons have both enriched (–5 to –25) and depleted (+5 to +14) εHf, values. Age spectra from Permian strata show primary peaks between 320 and 275 Ma and 460 and 415 Ma, with isolated occurrences of Precambrian-age zircons. Pennsylvanian–Permian zircons exhibit depleted εHf, values (+2 to +14). Youngest peak ages support a Mississippian–Early Permian maximum depositional age for this part of the Mystic subterrane. Overall, provenance trends reflect primary detrital contributions from arc and recycled orogen source areas, which included both enriched and primitive magmatic sources. New U-Pb and Hf isotope analyses from the Mystic assemblage match most closely with magmatic source areas of the Alexander and Wrangellia terranes. Findings are consistent with a model where the Farewell terrane was proximal to both the Alexander and Wrangellia terranes by Mississippian–Permian time.
- Received 23 January 2014.
- Revision received 8 May 2014.
- Accepted 6 June 2014.
- © 2014 Geological Society of America