|This volume brings together a number of data-intensive papers from the Russian Far East, western and northern Alaska, and the intervening Bering and Chukchi continental shelves that, together, greatly advance our knowledge of this remote region. These slightly submerged shelves and their adjacent landmasses constitute a broad isthmus of continental crust connecting the North American and Asian continents. This isthmus, which was shaped by accretionary processes related to Pacific plate–margin tectonics and extensional plate motions in the Arctic Ocean basin, remains tectonically active today. The harsh climate and remote setting make it difficult to work in this region, so the geologic and tectonic evolution of its crust, the continuity of geologic structures between North America and Russia, and the tectonic setting of its basins remain fruitful fields for additional research.
In 19 separate chapters by experts in their fields, this Special Paper presents new seismic (reflection, refraction, and earthquake), paleomagnetic, structural, stratigraphic, paleontologic, geochronologic, and geochemical data from this region. The volume concludes with a new plate-tectonic reconstruction of the evolution of the Arctic region, and a comprehensive digital database of geophysical, geologic, and tectonic data for the Bering Shelf–Chukchi Sea and adjacent landmasses. In a first for GSA publications, the digital database, the tectonic reconstruction, all data tables for the other chapters, and images of all the accompanying plates are contained on a CD-ROM provided with the volume.