Ordovician and Siluro-Lower Devonian magmatic rocks in the northern Appalachians south of the Iapetus suture are currently interpreted as distinct belts composed of multiple, small, peri-Gondwanan terranes that amalgamated during the sequential closures of Iapetus (latest Ordovician), the Tetagouche backarc basin (early Silurian), the Acadian seaway (Siluro-Devonian), and the Rheic Ocean (Devono-Carbonferous) (multiple terrane model). Here, the Siluro-Lower Devonian magmatic belts are shown to have slab failure affinities and together with the Ordovician arcs form paired belts parallel to the Iapetus suture, which suggests that they were emplaced along the common, peri-Avalonian margin during pre- and post-collisional processes. The Iapetan suture and the paired belts are inferred to repeat in Atlantic Canada due to dextral, strike-slip processes of mid-Late Devonian or younger age (terrane wreck model). In Newfoundland, the repetition is inferred to be the result of oblique, dextral offset of ca. 250 km. In the Quebec Embayment, the Iapetan paired magmatic belts are repeated twice in the limbs of a Z-shaped orocline related to oblique, dextral offsets of ca. 1200 km of the southern limb. Limited Siluro-Devonian paleomagnetic data indicate no paleolatitudinal differences across the Iapetus suture, however ca. 100° post-mid Silurian clockwise rotation is indicated for the middle fold limb; these data favour the terrane wreck model. The terrane wreck model results in a simple tectonic scenario of southerly subduction of Iapetus beneath a single ribbon continent (Avalonia sensu lato) that was subsequently deformed.

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