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Abstract

Following the Early Carboniferous consolidation of the Innuitian-Lomonosov(?) fold belt and the termination of the Arctic-North Atlantic sinistral translation, the megatectonic setting of the Arctic areas underwent a fundamental change.

During the Early Carboniferous, the West Siberian Craton apparently became separated from the northern margin of Laurentia (corresponding to the northern margin of the North Alaska-Chukchi-Chukotka [East Siberian Block] and the New Siberian Islands blocks; Fig. 7), started to drift and rotate eastward, and began to converge with the eastern margin of Fennosarmatia and the Kazakhstan block (see Chapter 2, Post-Caledonian Plate Reorganization and Chapter 3, Uralian orogeny; Scotese, 1984). This was accompanied by the postorogenic collapse of the Innuitian fold belt as evident by the development of the Sverdrup Basin (Balkwill, 1978), tensional tectonics in the area of the Alaska North Slope (Hubbard et al., 1987) and rifting in the New Siberian Island (Fujita and Cook, 1986). At the same time, crustal extension governed the subsidence of the Norwegian Greenland Sea Rift through which the Arctic Seas advance southward during the Late Permian and invaded the Permian basins of Northwest and Central Europe (Plates 4-8).

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