New lithologic and detrital zircon (DZ) U-Pb data from Devonian–Triassic strata on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea and from the western Brooks Range of Alaska suggest affinities between these two areas. The Brooks Range constitutes part of the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka microplate, but the tectonic and paleogeographic affinities of St. Lawrence Island are unknown or at best speculative. Strata on St. Lawrence Island form a Devonian–Triassic carbonate succession and a Mississippian(?)–Triassic clastic succession that are subdivided according to three distinctive DZ age distributions. The Devonian–Triassic carbonate succession has Mississippian-age quartz arenite beds with Silurian, Cambrian, Neoproterozoic, and Mesoproterozoic DZ age modes, and it exhibits similar age distributions and lithologic and biostratigraphic characteristics as Mississippian-age Utukok Formation strata in the Kelly River allochthon of the western Brooks Range. Consistent late Neoproterozoic, Cambrian, and Silurian ages in each of the Mississippian-age units suggest efficient mixing of the DZ prior to deposition, and derivation from strata exposed by the pre-Mississippian unconformity and/or Endicott Group strata that postdate the unconformity. The Mississippian(?)–Triassic clastic succession is subdivided into feldspathic and graywacke subunits. The feldspathic subunit has a unimodal DZ age mode at 2.06 Ga, identical to Nuka Formation strata in the Nuka Ridge allochthon of the western Brooks Range, and it records a distinctive depositional episode related to late Paleozoic juxtaposition of a Paleoproterozoic terrane along the most distal parts of the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka microplate. The graywacke subunit has Triassic maximum depositional ages and abundant late Paleozoic grains, likely sourced from fringing arcs and/or continent-scale paleorivers draining Eurasia, and it has similar age distributions to Triassic strata from the Lisburne Peninsula (northwestern Alaska), Chukotka and Wrangel Island (eastern Russia), and the northern Sverdrup Basin (Canadian Arctic), but, unlike the Devonian–Triassic carbonate succession and feldspathic subunit of the Mississippian(?)–Triassic clastic succession, it has no obvious analogue in the western Brooks Range allochthon stack. These correlations establish St. Lawrence Island as conclusively belonging to the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka microplate, thus enhancing our understanding of the circum-Arctic region in late Paleozoic–Triassic time.
Detrital zircon ages from upper Paleozoic–Triassic clastic strata on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska: An enigmatic component of the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka microplate
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Jeffrey M. Amato, Julie A. Dumoulin, Eric S. Gottlieb, Thomas E. Moore; Detrital zircon ages from upper Paleozoic–Triassic clastic strata on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska: An enigmatic component of the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka microplate. Geosphere 2022; doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/GES02490.1
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