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Abstract

Mid-Palaeozoic assembly models for the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka microplate predict the presence of cryptic crustal sutures, the exact locations and deformational histories of which have not been identified in the field. This study presents data on the provenance of polydeformed and metamorphosed strata in the southern Brooks Range Schist Belt and Central Belt of presumed Proterozoic–Devonian depositional age, as well as for the structurally overlying strata, to help elucidate terrane boundaries within the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka microplate and to add new constraints to the palaeogeographical evolution of its constituent parts. The protoliths identified support correlations with metasedimentary strata in the Ruby terrane and Seward Peninsula and suggest a (peri-) Baltican origin in late Neoproterozoic–early Palaeozoic time. Proximity to Laurentia is only evident in what are inferred to be post-early Devonian age strata. By contrast, the North Slope and Apoon terranes originated proximal to Laurentia. The mid-Palaeozoic boundary between these (peri-) Baltican and (peri-) Laurentian terranes once lay between rocks of the Schist/Central belts and those of the Apoon terrane, but is obscured by severe Mesozoic–Cenozoic deformation. Whether this boundary represents a convergent or transform suture, when exactly it formed and how it relates to broader Caledonian convergence in the North Atlantic are still unresolved questions.

Supplementary material: Details of the analytical methods together with zircon U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotopic data tables are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3805696

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