Cambrian and Upper Devonian to Mississippian strata can be confidently traced westward, without strike-slip offset, from the autochthonous section above North American basement into the southeastern Canadian Cordillera, and are thus “nailed” to the craton. These strata are in turn stratigraphically pinned to older (Mesoproterozoic Belt-Purcell Supergroup, Neoproterozoic Windermere Supergroup, and Ediacaran), intermediate-aged (Ordovician–Silurian), and younger (Permian to Middle Jurassic) strata found only in the mountains, thus linking them to the adjacent autochthonous craton. The overlapping distribution of linking successions, regionally traceable unique stratigraphic horizons in the Belt-Purcell and Windermere Supergroups, and across-strike stratigraphic features show that the entire Cariboo, northern Selkirk, Purcell, and Rocky Mountains are directly tied to the adjacent North American craton without discernible strike-slip or oblique displacement, or substantial purely convergent plate-scale (>400 km) horizontal displacement. They link the entire width of the Belt-Purcell and Windermere basins in the southeastern Canadian Cordillera to the adjacent craton and show that any proposed Cretaceous ribbon continent suture, with its thousands of kilometers of proposed displacement, cannot run through the southeastern Canadian Cordillera.

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