Abstract

Nares Strait, the linear seaway between Greenland and Arctic Canada has long been regarded as a Palaeogene plate boundary, along which major transform movement accommodated opening of the Labrador Sea. Fieldwork however revealed several stratigraphic markers which cross the strait and precle substantial displacement. Current plate reconstructions based on geophysical data continue to invoke major convergence and strike-slip along the strait. The manner in which Palaeozoic structural trends curve into parallelism with the strait as they cross it has been used to support this idea: ‘restoration’ of the trends gives an apparent 200 km offset along the strait. The curvature is an original tectonic feature and cannot be restored. Stratigraphic data preclude substantial Cenozoic displacement along or across Nares Strait; reconstructions based on indirect geophysical evidence which violate the geology must be wrong.

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