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Latest Cretaceous–early Eocene Pacific-Arctic?-Atlantic connection: Co-evolution of strike-slip fault systems, oroclines, and transverse fold-and-thrust belts in the northwestern North American Cordillera

Donald C. Murphy
Donald C. Murphy
Yukon Geological Survey, Box 2703 (K14), Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6, Canada
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Publication history
24 April 201803 December 2018


Comprehensive understanding of the pre-Paleogene kinematic evolution of the North American Cordillera in the context of evolving global plate interactions must begin with an understanding of the complex Late Cretaceous–early Eocene structural geometry and evolution of the northwestern Cordillera of Alaska, United States, and Yukon, Canada. Here, I present a kinematic model of the region that shows how regional strike-slip fault systems, including plate-boundary transform faults, interacted with each other, and with north-striking oroclinal folds and fold-and-thrust belts, which formed progressively during coeval shortening between Eurasia and North America. These Late Cretaceous–early Eocene interactions are manifestations of the plate reorganizations in the Pacific and Atlantic-Arctic regions that took place at that time, and that led to rifting and seafloor spreading within the globe-encircling Eurasian–North American plate and to the formation of transform-dominant North American–Pacific (sensu lato) and possibly North American–Arctic plate boundaries.

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GSA Special Papers

Circum-Arctic Structural Events: Tectonic Evolution of the Arctic Margins and Trans-Arctic Links with Adjacent Orogens

Geological Society of America
ISBN electronic:




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