Three Orosirian basins and associated foreland thrust-fold belts are preserved on the margins of the Slave craton. All three are related to orogenic belts where oceans opened and later closed, uniting new crustal partners. The Great Slave basin differs from the Kilhigok and Coronation basins in ways that have defied explanation. It lacks a passive margin sequence and hosts two discrete igneous suites, separated by large-scale thrusting, that occurred well after the adjacent paleocean had closed. Here we report U–Pb zircon geochronology by chemical abrasion isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry for a member of each suite to constrain the age and origin of postcollisional thrusting. A widespread pulse of mainly phreatic alkaline volcanism, coeval with renewed foredeep flexure, occurred at 1889.0 ± 0.7 Ma (2σ internal error). A quartz-monzodiorite body, one of a belt-parallel chain of laccoliths that postdate thrusting, was emplaced at 1866.9 ± 0.9 Ma. These ages bracket renewed foredeep sedimentation and thrusting that telescoped major facies zones and was rooted within the basin. The older age is 70 and 30−60 Myr younger than collision in the Thelon and Taltson orogens, respectively. We attribute postcollisional thrusting and foredeep subsidence to “eduction”—the upward and outward ejection of partly subducted crust—and postulate that the top of the ejected wedge was a normal-sense detachment fault projecting beneath the Nonacho basin. We infer that eduction was triggered by slab failure, producing alkaline volcanism, and ended with delamination and laccolith emplacement. Eduction was facilitated by tradewind-driven erosion. Delamination was enabled by crustal transfer to the educted wedge, reducing footwall buoyancy. Slab failure and/or delamination removed the passive margin.

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