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The Jurassic–Cretaceous Methow basin of northern Washington State and southern British Columbia forms an overlap sequence linking several small tectonostratigraphic terranes. Sandstone petrography, sandstone and mudrock geochemistry, and detrital zircon U–Pb age and Hf analysis of mid-Cretaceous, east-derived Methow strata together document a remarkably uniform provenance signature that suggests proximal, abundant, and unchanging sediment sources throughout deposition. The eastern belt of the Coast Mountains batholith, intruded into Stikine and related inboard terranes of the Intermontane superterrane, along with Jurassic and Cretaceous plutons of the westernmost Okanogan Range, provide the best match to the provenance signature of east-derived sediment in the Methow basin during the mid-Cretaceous. Furthermore, the Cretaceous and Jurassic plutons of the eastern Coast Mountains batholith and western Okanogan Range were rapidly uplifted to provide the substantial thickness of sediment in the Methow basin, and they must have acted as a topographic barrier that effectively prevented sediment derived from the continental interior from reaching the basin. This uplift of a proximal eastern source occurred during regional late Early Cretaceous sinistral transpression and resulted in subsidence of the Methow trough and rapid deposition of east-derived strata in the Methow basin. Because Methow sediment sources apparently did not include the North American interior, the extent of post-depositional large-scale translation relative to the North American craton of the Methow basin with its proximal, eastern sources cannot be unequivocally determined.

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Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences