The juxtaposition of the composite Pearya terrane and the northern Laurentian margin at Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada, has significant ramifications for the Paleozoic tectonic history of the circum-Arctic region. Published tectonic models rely upon interpretation of the subduction-related Kulutingwak Formation as an indicator of Ordovician and/or Silurian accretion (Trettin, 1998). New igneous and detrital zircon U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotopic data from 16 samples collected in the Yelverton Inlet–Kulutingwak Fiord region of northern Ellesmere Island suggest that the Kulutingwak Formation of Trettin (1998) contains structural blocks derived from both the Pearya terrane and Silurian strata associated with the ancestral Laurentian margin. Data from this study demonstrate a complex provenance history for rocks within the Petersen Bay, Kulutingwak Fiord, and Emma Fiord fault zones, with age probability peaks of ca. 470 Ma, 650 Ma, and 960–980 Ma that suggest affinity with the Pearya terrane, and age probability peaks of ca. 1800 Ma and 2700 Ma that indicate connections to the Laurentian margin. The combination of these signatures in Kulutingwak Formation rocks suggests that the Pearya terrane was proximal to the northern Laurentian margin by Late Ordovician time. Silurian and younger strike-slip displacement on the major fault zones resulted in the incorporation of blocks derived from the Pearya terrane basement and Silurian clastic rocks into the Kulutingwak Formation. Silurian displacement along these strike-slip faults, which are integral components of the Canadian Arctic transform system, is recorded by syndepositional deformation structures in the Danish River Formation and prevented the transition from soft to hard collision of the Pearya terrane. The two-stage model for the Pearya terrane—accretion followed by significant translation—provides a process for developing complex steep terrane boundaries with contentious displacement histories that are common in accretionary orogens.

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