Thermal and Structural Constraints on the Tectonic Evolution of the Idaho-Wyoming-Utah Thrust Belt



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The timing of motion on thrust faults in the Idaho-Wyoming-Utah (IWU) thrust belt comes from synorogenic sediments, apatite thermochronology and direct dating of fault rocks coupled with good geometrical constraints of the subsurface structure. The thermal history comes from the analyses of apatite thermochronology, thermal maturation of hydrocarbon source rocks and isotope analysis of fluid inclusions from syntectonic veins. New information from zircon fission track and zircon (U-Th)/He analysis provide constraints on the thermal evolution of the IWU thrust belt over geological time. These analyses demonstrate that the time-temperature pathway of the rocks sampled never reached the required conditions to reset the thermochronometers necessary to provide new timing constraints. Previous thermal constraints for maximum temperatures of IWU thrust belt rocks, place the lower limit at ~110?C and the upper limit at ~328?C. New zircon fission track results suggest an upper limit at ~180?C for million year time scales. ID-TIMS and LA-ICPMS of syntectonic calcite veins suggest that new techniques for dating times of active deformation are viable given that radiogenic isotope concentrations occur at sufficient levels within the vein material.