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A Palaeozoic NW Passage and the Timanian, Caledonian and Uralian connections of some exotic terranes in the North American Cordillera

By
Maurice Colpron
Maurice Colpron
Yukon Geological Survey, PO Box 2703 (K-10), Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada Y1A 2C6
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Joanne L. Nelson
Joanne L. Nelson
British Columbia Geological Survey, PO Box 9333 Stn Prov Gov't, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 9N3
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

Exotic terranes of inferred Arctic affinity form an outer belt within the North American Cordillera extending from Alaska to northern California. The geological history, fossil and detrital zircon data for these terranes show strong correlations and linkages among them, and many features in common with the northern Caledonides, the Timanide orogen and the Urals. They probably occupied an intermediate position between Baltica, Laurentia and Siberia, in proximity to the northern Caledonides in Early Palaeozoic time. Westward dispersion of these terranes is interpreted to result from development of a Scotia-style subduction system between Laurentia–Baltica and Siberia in Mid-Palaeozoic time – the NW Passage – following closure of the Iapetus ocean. Diachronous orogenic activity from Late Silurian in Arctic Canada to Early Devonian in north Yukon and Alaska records passage of some of these terranes. Westward propagation of a narrow subduction zone coupled with a global change in plate motion, linked to closure of the Rheic Ocean are proposed to have led to initiation of subduction along the western margin of Laurentia. This is recorded by the Late Devonian initiation of arc magmatism along western Laurentia, and the Late Devonian–Early Mississippian Antler orogeny in the western US and Ellesmerian orogeny in the Canadian Arctic.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Memoirs

Arctic Petroleum Geology

Anthony M. Spencer
Anthony M. Spencer
Statoil, Norway
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Ashton F. Embry
Ashton F. Embry
Geological Survey of Canada, Canada
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Donald L. Gautier
Donald L. Gautier
United States Geological Survey, USA
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Antonina V. Stoupakova
Antonina V. Stoupakova
Moscow State University, Russia
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Kai Sørensen
Kai Sørensen
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
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Geological Society of London
Volume
35
ISBN electronic:
9781862394100
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

GeoRef

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