Abstract

The Olyutorsky–Kamchatka foldbelt formed as a result of two successive collisions of the Achaivayam–Valaginsky and Kronotsky–Commander island arcs with the Eurasian margin where the two terranes docked after a long NW transport. We model their motion history from the Middle Campanian to Present and illustrate the respective plate margin evolution with ten reconstructions. In this modeling the arcs are assumed to travel on the periphery of the large plates of Eurasia, North America, Pacific, and Kula, for which the velocities and directions of motion are known from published data. The model predicts that the Achaivayam–Valaginsky arc was the leading edge of the Kula plate from the Middle Campanian to the Middle Paleocene and then moved slowly with the Pacific plate as long as the Middle Eocene when it accreted to Eurasia. The Kronotsky arc initiated in the Middle Campanian on the margin of North America and was its part till the latest Paleocene when the terrane changed polarity to move northwestward with the Pacific plate and eventually to collide with Eurasia in the Late Miocene. The predicted paleolatitudes of the Achaivayam–Valaginsky and Kronotsky–Commander island arcs for the latest Cretaceous and Paleogene are consistent with nine (out of eleven) reliable paleomagnetic determinations for samples from the two arcs. Additional changes imposed on the initial model parameters (kinematics of the large plates, relative position of the Kula–Pacific Ridge and the Emperor seamount chain, or time of active volcanism within the arcs) worsen the fit of the final reconstructions to available geological and paleomagnetic data. Therefore, the suggested model appears to be the most consistent one at this stage of knowledge.

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