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The NW–SE-trending Pai-Khoi fold–thrust belt links the Permian Uralian Orogen in the Polar Urals with the early Mesozoic fold belt on Novaya Zemlya. An interpretation of structural lineaments present in southern Novaya Zemlya suggests that the NW–SE-trending fold belt in southernmost Novaya Zemlya may have formed contemporaneously with parallel sinistral strike-slip faults. Analysis of regional-scale geological maps of the adjacent Pai-Khoi fold–thrust belt reveals large-scale structural relationships indicative of sinistral shear along the fold–thrust belt, including the presence of left-stepping en echelon folds within the Kara Shale Allochthon. This interpretation is corroborated by a field study of the allochthon-bounding Main Pai-Khoi Thrust, which reveals a consistently oblique tectonic stretching lineation, pitching 56° towards the east, suggesting tectonic displacement towards the west. It is therefore proposed that the Pai-Khoi fold–thrust belt is best described as a zone of sinistral inclined transpression. The interpretation of the Pai-Khoi fold–thrust belt as a zone of sinistral transpression has important implications for the interpretation of this tectonic boundary. This is reflected in a new structural cross-section through southernmost Novaya Zemlya, which is characterized by thick-skinned tectonics and steep strike-slip faults. These faults may link at depth with the Baidaratsky Fault.

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