Abstract

Surface and subsurface data from northern Yukon document a northward facies transition from shelf carbonates to basinal graptolitic shales and cherts from Late Cambrian to Early Devonian time. Parts of this north-facing continental margin were deformed during separate orogenic events of Early Devonian and Early Carboniferous ages. The first event, the Romanzof Orogeny, is identified in exposures across northwestern Yukon, in adjacent northeastern Alaska, and locally in the subsurface of the Alaska North Slope. It resulted in tight folds, north-directed thrust faults, and intrusion by Late Devonian posttectonic granitic plutons. Notwithstanding the thrust-fault orientations, southward diminution of deformation intensity combined with facies variations suggest that tectonic transport was generally southward. Evidence for an Early Carboniferous event is preserved in the northern Richardson Mountains and locally in the subsurface of the Mackenzie Delta region. It consists of detached open folds and minor thrust faults. Geological and geophysical data from northern Yukon document the location and orientation of the Early Carboniferous deformation front, and define a regional tectonic transport direction toward the south or southeast. This event is a distal foreland element of the Ellesmerian Orogeny (sensu stricto) of the Canadian Arctic Islands and is distinct from the Romanzof event in age, intensity, and extent. Endicott and Lisburne group strata, deposited on a southwest-facing subsiding shelf, overstep rocks deformed by the Romanzof event even as Ellesmerian deformation encroached from the north.

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