Recent ocean- and land-based studies of the circum-Arctic region bring significant advances in
high-quality data to formulate new models for the tectonic evolution of the Arctic margin (e.g., Pease
and Coakley, 2018; Piskarev et al., 2019; Piepjohn et al., 2019). Nevertheless, evolution of the Canada
Basin remains one of the most enigmatic and contentious topics of the Arctic. Two end-member models for
the Mesozoic opening of the Canada Basin invoke Arctic Alaska (1) rifting and rotating
(’taters) from or (2) translating (sliders) along the Canadian Arctic margin (Fig. 1
inset). Late Paleozoic and Mesozoic stratigraphic correlations between the northwestern Alaskan and
Canadian Arctic margins provide the clearest rationale for the rotation model (Embry, 1990), which is by
far the most commonly expressed mechanism (e.g., Hutchinson et al., 2017; Miller et al., 2018). In
contrast, we explore the implications of a growing set of onshore observations that indicate that the
northern Laurentian margin has experienced a protracted history of translation. This view is bolstered
by a variety of data that support models of Paleozoic large-magnitude terrane translation through the
Arctic region (Colpron and Nelson, 2009). Despite early calls for large-magnitude sinistral offsets
(e.g., Boreal fault of Bally in Kerr et al., 1982; Canadian transcurrent fault of Hubbard et al., 1987;
Porcupine fault of Oldow et al., 1989), the Canadian Arctic margin generally has not been viewed as a
viable candidate for transform boundaries to accommodate evolution of the Arctic region (e.g., Doré et
al., 2016). Results of our recent field studies on the northern margin of Laurentia challenge this
conclusion and support translation.
Generalized terrane map showing the location of the Canadian Arctic transform system, geophysically
defined features in the Canada Basin, and terrane distribution on the Arctic and Cordilleran margins of
Laurentia (modified after Colpron et al., 2019). Insets show simplified (1) rotation and (2) translation
models (from Patrick and McClelland, 1995).
The Canadian Arctic Islands expose a south to north transition from shallow marine deposits of the
Paleozoic Arctic platform into deep-water rocks of the late Proterozoic to early Paleozoic Franklinian
basin that were deformed in the Devonian and overlain by late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic rocks of the
Sverdrup basin. Rocks of the Franklinian basin were deposited after the Neoproterozoic breakup of
Rodinia and rifting along the northern Laurentian margin, which closely followed mafic magmatism
associated with the Franklin Large Igneous Province at 720 Ma (Macdonald et al., 2010; Cox et al.,
2015). The basin is flanked to the north by Ordovician to Silurian clastic and subduction-related mafic
and ultramafic rocks and allochthonous units of the Pearya terrane (Fig. 1; Trettin, 1998). The Pearya
terrane is dominated by two assemblages juxtaposed in the Ordovician: a displaced peri-Laurentian
crustal fragment that records early Neoproterozoic (Tonian) and Ordovician convergent margin magmatism
(Malone et al., 2017, 2019) and a latest Neoproterozoic (Ediacaran) to Ordovician mafic arc complex
built on Tonian basement (Majka et al., 2021). Steeply dipping faults juxtaposed Pearya with the
Laurentian passive margin by the Devonian (Trettin, 1998; Malone et al., 2019). Subsequently, units of
both the Pearya terrane and Franklinian basin were deformed within the Devonian–Carboniferous
Ellesmerian fold belt and overlain by Carboniferous and younger deposits of the Sverdrup basin.
Structures of the Ellesmerian fold belt extend westward to Prince Patrick Island where they, and
Carboniferous to Mesozoic structures of the Sverdrup basin, are truncated at a high angle by the
present-day Arctic margin (Fig. 1; Harrison and Brent, 2005).
Autochthonous strata of the Laurentian margin in northern Yukon are juxtaposed with peri-Laurentian
platform and basinal strata of the North Slope subterrane of Arctic Alaska (Macdonald et al., 2009;
Strauss et al., 2019a, 2019b; Colpron et al., 2019) on a near-vertical fault zone broadly referred to as
the Porcupine shear zone (Fig. 1; von Gosen et al., 2019). The North Slope subterrane was incorporated
into the greater Arctic Alaska terrane and juxtaposed with the Laurentian margin by the Carboniferous
(Strauss et al., 2013). South-directed Late Devonian–Carboniferous structures on the north side of this
boundary mark the probable offset western continuation of the Ellesmerian orogen (Oldow et al., 1987).
Paleozoic Terrane Accretion and Translation on the Pearya and Porcupine Shear Zones
Models that invoke terrane translation from the Arctic domain to the Cordilleran margin (e.g., Northwest
Passage model; Colpron and Nelson, 2009) require a transcurrent boundary along the Paleozoic Arctic
margin. Evidence for such a boundary on Ellesmere Island was outlined by Trettin (1998) in his
assessment of the history of Pearya. Recent fieldwork has confirmed that Pearya is separated from the
Laurentian margin by vertical strike-slip structures that record a complex history of reactivation,
overprinting, and reversals in displacement direction (Piepjohn et al., 2015). Current timing estimates
for Paleozoic sinistral displacement suggest a long-lived Ordovician to Devonian metamorphic and
deformation history associated with juxtaposition and translation of Pearya along the Laurentian margin
(McClelland et al., 2012; Kośmińska et al., 2019).
Structures that accommodated translation of Pearya project eastward to faults with similar timing and
kinematics in Svalbard (Fig. 1; Mazur et al., 2009). Although commonly linked with strike-slip faults in
the Caledonides (e.g., Storstrømmen shear zone; Fig. 1), we suggest that faults in Svalbard truncate the
Caledonian structures and continue eastward to Scandinavia as the de Geer transform (Fig. 1; Lundin and
Doré, 2019). The Harder Fjord fault zone, a long-lived steep structure that juxtaposes Ediacaran arc
rocks with the Franklinian margin on North Greenland (Rosa et al., 2016), is similar to faults in Pearya
and Svalbard (Fig. 1).
Strike-slip faults project westward from Pearya to the boundary between the Laurentian margin and North
Slope subterrane in Yukon (Fig. 1). This boundary is marked by the Porcupine shear zone, a broad fault
zone (>17 km wide) of older sinistral and recent (late Cenozoic) dextral brittle deformation (von
Gosen et al., 2019). The lithology and structural history of the North Slope subterrane contrast sharply
with the adjacent Laurentian margin rocks and are more akin to units in northeastern Laurentia
(Macdonald et al., 2009; Strauss et al., 2013; Gibson et al., 2021). Although originally interpreted to
crosscut the shear zone (Lane, 1992), Devonian granitoids common to the North Slope subterrane were
emplaced within the Porcupine shear zone while it was an active lithosphere-scale transform (Ward et
al., 2019). Strike-slip basin sedimentation may be recorded by the newly recognized
Devonian–Carboniferous Darcy Creek formation within the Porcupine shear zone (Faehnrich et al., 2021).
Linking strike-slip structures across Svalbard and northern Ellesmere Island to Yukon and Alaska on the
basis of orientation, timing, and kinematics defines a throughgoing Paleozoic fault system on the
northern Laurentian margin (Fig. 1), referred to here as the Canadian Arctic margin transform system
(CATS). Recognition of CATS carries significant implications for Paleozoic paleogeographic
reconstructions of the northern Laurentian margin. Displacement and terrane juxtaposition along the
margin culminated with south-directed shortening of the Late Devonian–Early Carboniferous Ellesmerian
orogeny and development of a thick clastic wedge derived from a continental sediment source to the
north. The nature of this northern source remains tentative but is most probably derived from the Arctic
Alaska–Chukotka terrane (Beranek et al., 2010; Anfinson et al., 2012). The CATS model that accommodates
large-magnitude translational motion of terranes suggests the source may have varied through time.
Grains and Terranes: Where Did They Come From?
Evidence for terrane displacement along the Arctic margin can be evaluated by comparing detrital zircon
data from the Paleozoic passive margin to terranes thought to have moved along it. Critical components
include (1) variation in detrital zircon signatures across northern Laurentia; (2) the ca. 970 Ma
signature of the convergent margin external to Rodinia; (3) Neoproterozoic magmatic ages; and (4)
Ordovician, Silurian, and Devonian arc magmatism common to many of the displaced terranes. Tracking
detrital zircons in combination with their Hf isotopic signatures demonstrates significant differences
in provenance history between Arctic terranes and the Laurentian margin. For example, Proterozoic to
Devonian units of Svalbard remain similar throughout their evolution, whereas Proterozoic to Silurian
components of the Alexander terrane are highly variable but coalesce to a common signature in the
Devonian (Fig. 2A).
(A) Two-dimensional multidimensional scaling (MDS) plot (Saylor et al., 2017; Kolmogorov-Smirnov
comparison of probability density plots, metric squared test = 0.137) and (B) age-εHft
of detrital zircon data from units involved in translation along the Canadian Arctic transform system.
Annotations on (A) show general detrital age trends reflected in the MDS plot. Alexander terrane data in
(B) is plotted as contoured density maps of bivariate kernel density estimates with contours of 68% (1σ)
and 95% (2σ) of peak density and cool to hot color gradient reflecting increasing peak density (Sundell
et al., 2019). Data from Svalbard (Sv); Franklinian basin (FB); Pearya terrane (P; P3—Succession 3);
Canadian Arctic Islands clastic wedge (CW; CWp—Parry Islands Formation); Arctic Alaska terrane (N—North
Slope subterrane; SS—southwestern subterranes; D—Doonerak; WMA—Whale Mountain Allochthon); Farewell
terrane (F); Alexander terrane (AT: ATn—northern, St. Elias; ATs—southern, Prince of Wales Island;
ATb—Banks Island assemblage); the Yukon-Tanana terrane (YTs) in southeastern Alaska is presented in
additional plots and references in the supplemental material1
The terranes of Svalbard, Pearya, and North Slope show clear evidence of Mesoproterozoic and older
material consistent with derivation from Laurentia but distinct from passive margin units in the
Franklinian basin. The Precambrian signature of the North Slope subterrane is most compatible with
northeastern Laurentia (Greenland), making a strong case for large-scale translation of a
peri-Laurentian fragment along the Arctic margin (Gibson et al., 2021). The Tonian (ca. 970 Ma)
signature of the Pearya, Svalbard, Arctic Alaska, and Farewell terranes clearly distinguishes these
crustal fragments from the Franklinian margin (Fig. 2). The Tonian signature is subtle to absent in the
Alexander and Yukon-Tanana terranes, making it a useful discriminant as well. Evidence for
Neoproterozoic–early Paleozoic (710–520 Ma) magmatism coeval with activity in the Timanide orogen of
eastern Baltica (Fig. 3) appears in the Pearya, Arctic Alaska, Farewell, and Alexander terranes, but is
notably missing from the Laurentian signature of the North Slope subterrane and Franklinian basin.
Terranes with this signature are assigned origins adjacent to Baltica or Siberia (e.g., Beranek et al.,
2013; White et al., 2016), consistent with faunal (Soja and Antoshkina, 1997) and paleomagnetic (Bazard
et al., 1995) data.
Schematic Devonian paleogeographic reconstruction showing terrane translation on the Canadian Arctic
transform system (CATS). Modified after Torsvik and Cocks (2017). AT—Alexander terrane; Ch—Chukotka;
D—Doonerak arc; F—Farewell; N—North Slope subterrane; P—Pearya terrane; S-K—Sierra-Klamath terranes;
SS—southwestern Arctic Alaska subterranes; ST—Stikinia; Sv—Svalbard; W—Wrangellia; YTn—Yukon-Tanana
terrane in Yukon; YTs—Yukon-Tanana terrane in southeastern Alaska.
Ordovician to Silurian arc magmatism observed in the Arctic terranes indicates that they largely
represent displaced arc fragments. The age of individual peaks varies by terrane, and Hf isotopes range
from juvenile (>+5 εHft) to evolved (<–5 εHft) settings (Fig. 2B), tracking
differences in arc basement and proximity to active convergent boundaries. For example, Ordovician
signatures are dominant in the Pearya, Alexander, Farewell, and Arctic Alaska terranes, but lacking in
Svalbard and portions of the Yukon-Tanana terrane. Silurian magmatic rocks are absent from Pearya and
the North Slope subterrane although both regions record influx of Silurian detrital components. The
εHft signatures for Ordovician and Silurian zircon in most terranes, ranging from +5 to –15,
record evolution in settings with variable input from older continental sources, either from the arc
basement or influx of continentally derived sedimentary material. In stark contrast, the southern
Alexander terrane on Prince of Wales Island, along with the Doonerak arc and Whale Mountain allochthon
of Arctic Alaska, consistently have a juvenile signature that indicates evolution in an intraoceanic
setting isolated from any continental input throughout their pre-Devonian history (Fig. 2).
Devonian–Carboniferous detrital zircon signatures define amalgamation of terranes and juxtaposition with
the Arctic margin. The Devonian clastic wedge in the Canadian Arctic Islands records deposition on
Laurentia from a more juvenile source emplaced along the Franklinian margin (Patchett et al., 1999).
Late Devonian units (e.g., Parry Islands Formation) at the top of the wedge are dominated by
Neoproterozoic to Devonian grains with juvenile εHft (Anfinson et al., 2012). This shift in
signature is consistent with recycling of Silurian units from the Pearya, Farewell, northern Alexander,
and Arctic Alaska terranes (Fig. 2). The εHft values for Ordovician to Early Devonian grains
in many terranes are markedly juvenile but show a sharp pull down in the Late Devonian (Fig. 2), which
reflects increased crustal involvement due to contraction and perhaps collision. The Banks Island and
northern (St. Elias) units of the Alexander terrane (Fig. 1) show a transition from strongly evolved in
Ordovician–Silurian grains to dominantly juvenile values—a signature that is more consistent with the
southern Alexander terrane (Fig. 2). This transition, combined with the similarity in detrital zircon
patterns, suggests Devonian amalgamation of the disparate Alexander fragments.
Paleozoic Evolution of the Northern Laurentian Margin
The variations in zircon age and εHft signatures in circum-Arctic and Cordilleran terranes
record changes in Paleozoic arc magmatism that broadly represent a northern continuation of the arc
system associated with closure of Iapetus and the subsequent Silurian collision of Baltica with
Laurentia (Fig. 3; Strauss et al., 2017). These arc complexes are best viewed as age equivalent to
subduction-related rocks preserved in the thrust sheets of the Caledonides. Svalbard represents a
Caledonian signature; however, the other circum-Arctic terranes are arc complexes that extended beyond
the Caledonides and are characterized by a mixture of juvenile intraoceanic fragments (e.g., southern
Alexander terrane, Doonerak) and arc fragments with continental substrates (e.g., Pearya, northern
Translation associated with the CATS initiated as Ordovician and Silurian subduction migrated along the
northern Laurentian margin. Subduction-related rocks inboard of Pearya are inferred to record
transpressional collapse of the Ordovician arc against the Franklinian margin, with Silurian arc
activity continuing offshore as subduction migrated westward. The location of Siberia and its role in
the transfer of circum-Arctic terranes to the Cordilleran margin is poorly understood, but relative
motion between Baltica, Siberia, and the Arctic terranes likely increased after the Silurian
Baltica–Laurentia collision. Silurian translation placed several crustal fragments and arc terranes
along the Arctic margin. Silurian to Early Devonian arc activity continued in outboard terranes destined
to approach the Cordilleran realm.
Devonian displacement on the CATS emplaced Pearya and the North Slope subterrane along the Laurentian
continental margin, with the rest of Arctic Alaska and Alexander located farther outboard. Final
contraction in the northern Caledonides, represented by ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism at 360 Ma in
North-East Greenland, was accompanied by sinistral and dextral translation that accommodated
margin-parallel escape from the orogen (Gilotti and McClelland, 2007). This intra-Caledonian strike-slip
system was truncated by the CATS, effectively transferring Caledonian rocks of Svalbard to the Arctic
margin (Fig. 3). The eastern continuation of CATS projects toward the truncated margin of northern
Scandinavia marked by the Trollfjord-Komagelva fault system, requiring an Ordovician–Devonian
strike-slip history on this or an outboard structure along the Timanide-Baltica suture.
The amalgamated terranes translated along the Arctic margin shed detritus with characteristic juvenile
isotopic signatures (e.g., Anfinson et al., 2012) southward into the Canadian Arctic Island clastic
wedge (Fig. 1). Middle Devonian arc magmatism developed in Arctic Alaska simultaneously with clastic
wedge deposition. This activity was contemporaneous with Uralian arc magmatism on the Baltican margin,
but the two systems were separated by the CATS. The Late Devonian marks a transition to subduction
initiation along the western margin of Laurentia with granitic magmatism present in the North Slope
subterrane to the north and Yukon-Tanana, Stikinia, Quesnellia, Kootenay, and Sierra-Klamath terranes to
the south (Fig. 3). The CATS effectively accommodated migration of Paleozoic arcs active outboard of the
Laurentian margin into the paleo-Pacific realm. Latest stages of Ellesmerian shortening and translation
on the northern margin coincide with the start of Yukon-Tanana magmatism in the northern Cordillera
(Colpron and Nelson, 2009).
Mesozoic Translation and Opening of the Canada Basin
Despite lithologic, sedimentologic, and structural arguments for translation of Arctic Alaska along the
northern Laurentian margin (Patrick and McClelland, 1995; Oldow et al., 1987, 1989; Dickinson, 2009),
Early Cretaceous counterclockwise rotation of Alaska is the generally accepted model for opening of the
Canada Basin (Grantz et al., 2011). The rotation model persists in large part due to a perceived lack of
evidence for Mesozoic displacement on the Canadian Arctic margin. Strike-slip faults are clearly exposed
on Ellesmere Island and record a complex history of post-Carboniferous to Eocene sinistral and dextral
displacement (Piepjohn et al., 2013). These structures record reactivation of the Paleozoic transform
margin. West of Ellesmere Island to the Yukon-Alaska mainland, the structural history of the Canadian
margin is in question.
Although conventionally interpreted as representative of Mesozoic extension, published seismic reflection
profiles across the northern boundary of the Sverdrup basin (Embry and Dixon, 1990) show the boundary to
be disrupted by near-vertical faults more reasonably interpreted as strike-slip faults. The faults
separate blocks with substantial differences in thickness of Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous
sedimentary rocks. The faults cut and are locally sealed by Late Cretaceous clastic rocks that indicate
displacement into the late Mesozoic. Along Prince Patrick Island, the faults truncate Paleozoic and
Mesozoic stratigraphic and structural trends at a high angle to the margin (Harrison and Brent, 2005).
Local evidence of extensional deformation is described along Banks Island (Fig. 1; Helwig et al., 2011)
in a segment of the boundary characterized by a slight deflection in strike consistent with an
extensional step in a sinistral transcurrent fault system (Fig. 4). Seismic sections west of Banks
Island document near-vertical structures that truncate the continental margin along the Tuk transform
(Helwig et al., 2011).
Schematic Mesozoic paleogeographic reconstruction showing the role of the Canadian Arctic transform
system (CATS) in opening of the Canada Basin and large magnitude extension in the Amerasian Basin.
Modified after Patrick and McClelland (1995), Dickinson (2009), Miller et al. (2018), and Døssing et al.
(2020). AMR—Alpha-Mendelev Ridge; CB—Canada Basin; CBL—Chukchi Borderland; ESB—East Siberian basins (see
Nikishin et al., 2021); MB—Makarov basin; PB—Podvodnikov basin; SAR—south Amerasia ridge; SAZ—South
Anyui suture zone. Extent of thin crust (<10 km) is from Lebedeva-Ivanova et al. (2019).
The Porcupine shear zone, separated from the Tuk transform to the east by a series of north-striking
Cenozoic faults that record east-west contraction and disrupt the simple continuation of the CATS, is
essential to translation models for opening of the Canada Basin. Preliminary structural studies
supported Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous sinistral transpression along the Porcupine shear zone
(Oldow and Avé Lallemant, 1993). Recent studies have demonstrated that reactivation of the Porcupine
shear zone involved Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks (von Gosen et al., 2019). Although the magnitude and
timing of Mesozoic displacement on the Porcupine shear zone is not well documented at present, sinistral
translation associated with opening of the Canada Basin is clear.
Marine geophysical data have long been interpreted in support of the rotation model, particularly
satellite gravity data that was inferred to represent a spreading center (McAdoo et al., 2008). New data
suggest a much more limited extent of oceanic crust (Chian et al., 2016), and interpretation of
geophysical lineaments as transform structures has produced models invoking strike-slip faults within
the Canada Basin (Hutchinson et al., 2017). These new models will be greatly improved by incorporating
the CATS. In fact, the recent transform model of Døssing et al. (2020) explicitly requires sinistral
translation on the Porcupine shear zone. Many uncertainties remain regarding the crustal composition and
the timing and magnitude of extension within the Canada Basin and broader Amerasian Basin
(Lebedeva-Ivanova et al., 2019), but tectonic models place the region in a back arc setting relative to
the Mesozoic Cordilleran margin (Miller et al., 2018). Integrating our land-based observations of
translation with the offshore geophysics provides a realistic geodynamic model for the Cretaceous
opening of the Canada Basin in this setting (Fig. 4). The greater Amerasian Basin is best viewed as a
domain of large-magnitude extension in response to slab rollback on the paleo-Pacific margin that is
bound by strike-slip displacement on the Laurentian and Siberian margins (Miller et al., 2018).
Transforms on the Siberian margin and within the Canada Basin are commonly accepted as components of the
rotational model (Amato et al., 2015; Doré et al., 2016). Sinistral reactivation of the CATS on the
Laurentian margin similarly bounds the extensional domain to the south. Block rotation of northern
Alaska related to opening of the Canada Basin is permissible but no longer required.
Cenozoic reactivation of the CATS is recorded along its length. Displacement on the de Geer transform
during opening of the Eurasian Basin records reactivation at the eastern end (Doré et al., 2016).
Dextral displacement along the Arctic margin (Piepjohn et al, 2013) and the Porcupine shear zone marks
reactivation of the central and western segments of the CATS, respectively. Activity on the western CATS
was linked with continued evolution of the Cordilleran strike-slip orogen (Murphy, 2019).
Available field evidence strongly supports the presence of a long-lived strike-slip fault extending from
North Greenland westward to Alaska along the northern Laurentian margin. Onshore and offshore
observations are consistent with Paleozoic translation of arc terranes and crustal fragments along the
CATS, followed by Mesozoic reactivation to accommodate regional extension of continental and hybrid
crust (Miller et al., 2018) during translational opening of the Canada Basin. Ongoing geochronologic and
kinematic studies of fault rocks will provide additional insight on the magnitude, timing, and direction
of displacement along the length of the boundary. Pre-Devonian terrane translation complicates
restorations based on age or lithologic similarities since many correlations are non-unique. In
addition, extension within the Canada Basin accommodated by transform boundaries on the Canadian and
Chukchi Borderland margins does not preclude block rotation within the basin, leading to hybrid models
(Miller et al., 2018).
The rotation model for opening of the Canada Basin has long rested on stratigraphic arguments (e.g.,
Embry, 1990). Early structural analysis recognized translation of units with different Paleozoic and
Mesozoic deformation histories (Oldow et al., 1987, 1989), but the necessary kinematic and timing
constraints were missing, thus allowing the rotation model to persist as the consensus model with little
supporting structural evidence. For instance, no demonstrable increase in shortening along the length of
the Brooks Range or obvious contraction south of the rotation axis in the Mackenzie delta exists to
support rotation. The rotation model has in essence achieved the status of a Geomyth (Dickinson, 2003)
since it is commonly assumed and rarely tested. Future models for Mesozoic opening of the Canada Basin
will need to merge existing stratigraphic and geophysical observations with the substantial database
that documents the Paleozoic evolution and Mesozoic–Cenozoic reactivation of the CATS in order to solve
a tectonic problem that has dogged the community for decades.
This contribution is based on the results of studies funded by National Science Foundation EAR grants
awarded to McClelland (0948359, 1049368, 162413, 1947071), Strauss (1624131, 1650152, 1947074), Gilotti
(1049433, 1432970, 1650022), Gehrels (0947904), Macdonald (1049463), and the Arizona LaserChron Facility
(1032156, 1338583, 1649254). Additional support for fieldwork was provided by the Yukon Geological
Survey (YGS) and Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR). This is YGS contribution
number 051. Luke Beranek and Erik Lundin provided constructive reviews that improved this contribution.
- Amato, J.M., Toro, J., Akinin, V.V., Hampton, B.A., Salnikov, A.S., and Tuchkova, M.I., 2015,
Tectonic evolution of the Mesozoic South Anyui suture zone, eastern Russia: A critical component of
paleogeographic reconstructions of the Arctic region: Geosphere, v. 11, p. 1530–1564,
- Anfinson, O.A., Leier, A.L., Gaschnig, R., Embry, A.F., and Dewing, K., 2012, U-Pb and Hf isotopic
data from Franklinian Basin strata: Insights into the nature of Crockerland and the timing of
accretion, Canadian Arctic Islands: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 49, p. 1316–1328,
- Bazard, D.R., Butler, R.F., Gehrels, G., and Soja, C.M., 1995, Early Devonian paleomagnetic data
from the Lower Devonian Karheen Formation suggest Laurentia-Baltica connection for the Alexander
terrane: Geology, v. 23, p. 707–710,
- Beranek, L.P., Mortensen, J.K., Lane, L.S., Allen, T.L., Fraser, T.A., Hadlari, T., and Zantvoort,
W.G., 2010, Detrital zircon geochronology of the western Ellesmerian clastic wedge, northwestern
Canada: Insights on Arctic tectonics and the evolution of the northern Cordilleran miogeocline:
Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 122, p. 1899–1911, https://doi.org/10.1130/B30120.1.
- Beranek, L.P., van Staal, C.R., McClelland, W.C., Israel, S., and Mihalynuk, M.G., 2013, Detrital
zircon Hf isotopic compositions indicate a northern Caledonian connection for the Alexander terrane:
Lithosphere, v. 5, p. 163–168, https://doi.org/10.1130/L255.1.
- Chian, D., Jackson, H.R., Hutchinson, D.R., Shimeld, J.W., Oakey, G.N., Lebedeva-Ivanova, N., Li,
Q., Saltus, R.W., and Mosher, D.C., 2016, Distribution of crustal types in Canada Basin, Arctic
Ocean: Tectonophysics, v. 691, p. 8–30, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2016.01.038.
- Colpron, M., and Nelson, J.L., 2009, A Palaeozoic Northwest Passage: Incursion of Caledonian,
Baltican and Siberian terranes into eastern Panthalassa, and the early evolution of the North
American Cordillera, in Cawood, P.A., and Kröner, A., eds., Earth Accretionary Systems in
Space and Time: Geological Society of London Special Publication 318, p. 273–307,
- Colpron, M., McClelland, W.C., and Strauss, J.V., 2019, Detrital zircon U-Pb geochronological and Hf
isotopic constraints on the geological evolution of North Yukon, in Piepjohn, K., Strauss,
J.V., Reinhardt, L., and McClelland, W.C., eds., Circum-Arctic Structural Events: Tectonic Evolution
of the Arctic Margins and Trans-Arctic Links with Adjacent Orogens: Geological Society of America
Special Paper 541, p. 397–437, https://doi.org/10.1130/2018.2541(19).
- Cox, G.M., Strauss, J.V., Halverson, G.P., Schmitz, M., McClelland, W.C., Stevenson, R.S., and
Macdonald, F.A., 2015, Kikiktak Volcanics of Arctic Alaska—Melting of harzburgitic sub-continental
lithospheric mantle associated with the Franklin Large Igneous Province: Lithosphere, v. 7, p.
- Dickinson, W.R., 2003, The place and power of myth in geoscience: An associate editor’s perspective:
American Journal of Science, v. 303, p. 856–864, https://doi.org/10.2475/ajs.303.9.856.
- Dickinson, W.R., 2009, Anatomy and global context of the North American Cordillera, in Kay,
S.M., Ramos, V.A., and Dickinson, W.R., eds., Backbone of the Americas: Shallow Subduction, Plateau
Uplift, and Ridge and Terrane Collision: Geological Society of America Memoir 204, p. 1–29,
- Doré, A.G., Lundin, E.R., Gibbons, A., Sømme, T.O., and Tørudbakken, B.O., 2016, Transform margins
of the Arctic: A synthesis and re-evaluation, in Nemčok, M., Rybár, S., Sinha, S.T.,
Hermeston, S.A., and Ledvényiová, L., eds., Transform Margins: Development, Controls and Petroleum
Systems: Geological Society of London Special Publication 431, p. 63–94.
- Døssing, A., Gaina, C., Jackson, H.R., and Andersen, O.B., 2020, Cretaceous ocean formation in the
High Arctic: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 551, 116552,
- Embry, A.F., 1990, Geological and geophysical evidence in support of the hypothesis of anticlockwise
rotation of northern Alaska: Marine Geology, v. 93, p. 317–329,
- Embry, A.F., and Dixon, J., 1990, The breakup unconformity of the Amerasia Basin, Arctic Ocean:
Evidence from Arctic Canada: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 102, p. 1526–1534,
- Faehnrich, K., McClelland, W.C., Colpron, M., Nutt, C.L., Miller, R.S., Trembath, M., and Strauss,
J.V., 2021, Pre-Mississippian stratigraphic architecture of the Porcupine Shear Zone, Yukon and
Alaska, and significance in the evolution of northern Laurentia: Lithosphere (in press).
- Gibson, T.M., Faehnrich, K., Busch, J.F., McClelland, W.C., Schmitz, M.D., and Strauss, J.V., 2021,
A detrital zircon test of large-scale terrane displacement along the Arctic margin of North America:
Geology, v. 49, p. 545–550, https://doi.org/10.1130/G48336.1.
- Gilotti, J.A., and McClelland, W.C., 2007, Characteristics of and a tectonic model for
ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism in the overriding plate of the Caledonian orogen: International
Geology Review, v. 49, p. 777–797, https://doi.org/10.2747/0020-68188.8.131.527.
- Grantz, A., Hart, P.E., and Childers, V.A., 2011, Geology and tectonic development of the Amerasia
and Canada Basins, Arctic Ocean, in Spencer, A.M., Embry, A.F., Gautier, D.L., Stoupakova,
A.V., and Sørensen, K., eds., Arctic Petroleum Geology: Geological Society of London Memoir 35, p.
- Harrison, J.C., and Brent, T.A., 2005, Basins and fold belts of Prince Patrick Island and adjacent
areas, Canadian Arctic Islands: Geological Survey of Canada Bulletin 560, 197 p.,
- Helwig, J., Kumar, N., Emmet, P., and Dinkelman, M.G., 2011, Regional seismic interpretation of
crustal framework, Canadian Arctic passive margin, Beaufort Sea, with comments on petroleum
potential, in Spencer, A.M., Embry, A.F., Gautier, D.L., Stoupakova, A.V., and Sørensen,
K., eds., Arctic Petroleum Geology: Geological Society of London Memoir 35, p. 527–543,
- Hubbard, R.J., Edrich, S.P., and Rattey, R.P., 1987, Geologic evolution and hydrocarbon habitat of
the ‘Arctic Alaska Microplate’: Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 4, p. 1–34,
- Hutchinson, D.R., Jackson, H.R., Houseknecht, D.W., Li, Q., Shimeld, J.W., Mosher, D.C., Chian, D.,
Saltus, R.W., and Oakey, G.N., 2017, Significance of northeast-trending features in Canada Basin,
Arctic Ocean: Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, v. 18, p. 4156–4178,
- Kerr, J.W., McKenzie, D.P., Price, R.A., Jackson, J.A., Bally, A.W., Watts, A.B., Stoneley, R., and
Roberts, D.G., 1982, Evolution of sedimentary basins in the Canadian Arctic [and Discussion]:
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, v. 305, p. 193–205.
- Kośmińska, K., McClelland, W.C., Gilotti, J.A., and Coble, M.A., 2019, U-Pb evidence for Middle
Devonian metamorphism of the Petersen Bay assemblage adjacent to the Pearya terrane, Ellesmere
Island: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 51, no. 1,
- Lane, L.S., 1992, Kaltag Fault, northern Yukon, Canada: Constraints on evolution of Arctic Alaska:
Geology, v. 20, p. 653–656, https://doi.org/10.1130/0091-7613(1992)020<0653:KFNYCC>2.3.CO;2.
- Lebedeva-Ivanova, N., Gaina, C., Minakov, A., and Kashubin, S., 2019, ArcCRUST: Arctic crustal
thickness from 3-D gravity inversion: Geo-chemistry Geophysics Geosystems, v. 20, p. 3225–3247,
- Lundin, E.R., and Doré, A.G., 2019, Non-Wilsonian break-up predisposed by transforms: Examples from
the North Atlantic and Arctic, in Wilson, R.W., Housman, G.A., McCaffery, K.J.W., Doré,
A.G., and Buiter, S.J.H., eds., Fifty Years of the Wilson Cycle Concept in Plate Tectonics:
Geological Society of London Special Publication 470, p. 375–392, https://doi.org/10.1144/SP470.6.
- Macdonald, F.A., McClelland, W.C., Schrag, D.P., and Macdonald, W.P., 2009, Neoproterozoic
glaciation on a carbonate platform margin in Arctic Alaska and the origin of the North Slope
subterrane: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 121, p. 448–473,
- Macdonald, F.A., Schmitz, M.D., Crowley, J.L., Roots, C.F., Jones, D.S., Maloof, A.C., Strauss,
J.V., Cohen, P.A., Johnston, D.T., and Schrag, D.P., 2010, Calibrating the Cryogenian: Science, v.
327, p. 1241–1243, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1183325.
- Majka, J., Kośmińska, K., Bazarnik, J., and McClelland, W.C., 2021, The Ordovician Thores volcanic
island arc of the Pearya Terrane from northern Ellesmere Island formed on Precambrian continental
crust: Lithos, v. 386–387, 105999, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lithos.2021.105999.
- Malone, S.J., McClelland, W.C., von Gosen, W., and Piepjohn, K., 2017, The Earliest Neoproterozoic
magmatic record of the Pearya terrane, northernmost Ellesmere Island: Implications for terrane
reconstructions in the Arctic Caledonides: Precambrian Research, v. 292, p. 323–349,
- Malone, S.J., McClelland, W.C., von Gosen, W., and Piepjohn, K., 2019, Detrital zircon U-Pb and
Lu-Hf analysis of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks from the Pearya terrane and Ellesmerian Fold Belt
(northern Ellesmere Island): A comparison with Circum-Arctic datasets and their implications on
terrane tectonics, in Piepjohn, K., Strauss, J.V., Reinhardt, L., and McClelland, W.C.,
eds., Circum-Arctic Structural Events: Tectonic Evolution of the Arctic Margins and Trans-Arctic
Links with Adjacent Orogens: Geological Society of America Special Paper 541, p. 231–254,
- Mazur, S., Czerny, J., Majka, J., Maneck, M., Holm, D., Smyrak, A., and Wypych, A., 2009, A
strike-slip terrane boundary in Wedel Jarlsberg Land, Svalbard, and its bearing on correlations of
SW Spitsbergen with the Pearya terrane and Timanide belt: Journal of the Geological Society, v. 166,
p. 529–544, https://doi.org/10.1144/0016-76492008-106.
- McAdoo, D.C., Farrell, S.L., Laxon, S.W., Zwally, H.J., Yi, D., and Ridout, A.L., 2008, Arctic Ocean
gravity field derived from ICESat and ERS-2 altimetry: Tectonic implications: Journal of Geophysical
Research, Solid Earth, v. 113, B05408, 12 p., https://doi.org/10.1029/2007JB005217.
- McClelland, W.C., Malone, S.J., von Gosen, W., Piepjohn, K., and Läufer, A., 2012, The timing of
sinistral displacement of the Pearya Terrane along the Canadian Arctic Margin: Journal of the German
Society for Geosciences, v. 163, p. 251–259, https://doi.org/10.1127/1860-1804/2012/0163-0251.
- Miller, E.L., Meisling, K.E., Akinin, V.V., Brumley, K., Coakley, B.J., Gottlieb, E.S., Hoiland,
C.W., O’Brien, T.M., Soboleva, A., and Toro, J., 2018, Circum-Arctic Lithosphere Evolution (CALE)
Transect C: Displacement of the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka microplate towards the Pacific during opening
of the Amerasia Basin of the Arctic, in Pease, V., and Coakley, B., eds., Circum-Arctic
Lithosphere Evolution: Geological Society of London Special Publication 460, p. 57–120,
- Murphy, D.C., 2019, Latest Cretaceous–early Eocene Pacific-Arctic?-Atlantic connection: Co-evolution
of strike-slip fault systems, oroclines, and transverse fold-and-thrust belts in the northwestern
North American Cordillera, in Piepjohn, K., Strauss, J.V., Reinhardt, L., and McClelland,
W.C., eds., Circum-Arctic Structural Events: Tectonic Evolution of the Arctic Margins and
Trans-Arctic Links with Adjacent Orogens: Geological Society of America Special Paper 541, p.
- Nikishin, A.M., Petrov, E.I., Cloetingh, S., Malyshev, N.A., Morozov, A.F., Posamentier, H.W.,
Verzhbitsky, V.E., Freiman, S.I., Rodina, E.A., Startseva, K.F., and Zhukov, N.N., 2021, Arctic
ocean mega project: Paper 2—Arctic stratigraphy and regional tectonic structure: Earth-Science
Reviews, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2021.103581 (in press).
- Oldow, J.S., and Avé Lallemant, H.G., 1993, Late Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonism of the Arctic
margin of eastern Alaska and northwestern Canada: Implications for the evolution of the Canada
Basin: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 25, no. 6, p. A172.
- Oldow, J.S., Avé Lallemant, H.G., Julian, F.E., and Seidensticker, C.M., 1987, Ellesmerian(?) and
Brookian deformation in the Franklin Mountains, northeastern Brooks Range, Alaska, and its bearing
on the origin of the Canada Basin: Geology, v. 15, p. 37–41,
- Oldow, J.S., Bally, A.W., Avé Lallemant, H.G., and Leeman, W.P., 1989, Phanerozoic evolution of the
North American Cordillera (United States and Canada), in Bally, A.W., and Palmer, A.R.,
eds., Geology of North America: An Overview: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America, The
Geology of North America, v. A, p. 139–232.
- Patchett, P.J., Roth, M.A., Canale, B.S., de Freitas, T.A., Harrison, J.C., Embry, A.F., and Ross,
G.M., 1999, Nd isotopes, geochemistry, and constraints on sources of sediments in the Franklinian
mobile belt, Arctic Canada: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 111, p. 578–589,
- Patrick, B.P., and McClelland, W.C., 1995, Late Proterozoic granitic magmatism on Seward Peninsula
and a Barentian origin for Arctic Alaska-Chukotka: Geology, v. 23, p. 81–84,
- Pease, V., and Coakley, B., editors, 2018, Circum-Arctic Lithosphere Evolution: Geological Society
of London Special Publication 460, 465 p., https://doi.org/10.1144/SP460.19.
- Piepjohn, K., von Gosen, W., Läufer, A., McClelland, W.C., and Estrada, S., 2013, Ellesmerian and
Eurekan fault tectonics at the northern margin of Ellesmere Island (Canadian High Arctic): Journal
of the German Society for Geosciences, v. 164, p. 81–105,
- Piepjohn, K., von Gosen, W., Tessensohn, F., Reinhart, L., McClelland, W.C., Dallman, W., Gaedicke,
C., and Harrison, J.C., 2015, Tectonic map of the Ellesmerian and Eurekan deformation belts on
Svalbard, North Greenland, and the Queen Elizabeth Islands (Canadian Arctic): Arktos, v. 1, no. 12,
p. 1–12, https://doi.org/10.1007/s41063-015-0015-7.
- Piepjohn, K., Strauss, J.V., Reinhardt, L., and McClelland, W.C., editors, 2019, Circum-Arctic
Structural Events: Tectonic Evolution of the Arctic Margins and Trans-Arctic Links with Adjacent
Orogens: Geological Society of America Special Paper 541, 686 p., https://doi.org/10.1130/SPE541.
- Piskarev, A., Poselov, V., and Kaminsky, V., eds., 2019, Geologic Structures of the Arctic Basin:
Berlin, Springer, 375 p., https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-77742-9.
- Rosa, D., Majka, J., Thrane, K., and Guarnieri, P., 2016, Evidence for Timanian-age basement rocks
in North Greenland as documented through U-Pb zircon dating of igneous xenoliths from the Midtkap
volcanic centers: Precambrian Research, v. 275, p. 394–405,
- Saylor, J.E., Jordan, J.C., Sundell, K.C., Wang, X., Wang, S., and Deng, T., 2017, Topographic
growth of the Jishi Shan and its impact on basin and hydrology evolution, NE Tibetan Plateau: Basin
Research, v. 30, p. 544–563, https://doi.org/10.1111/bre.12264.
- Soja, C.M., and Antoshkina, A.I., 1997, Coeval development of Silurian stromatolite reefs in Alaska
and the Ural Mountains: Implications for paleogeography of the Alexander terrane: Geology, v. 25, p.
- Strauss, J.V., Macdonald, F.A., Taylor, J.F., Repetski, J.E., and McClelland, W.C., 2013, Laurentian
origin for the North Slope of Alaska: Implications for the tectonic evolution of the Arctic:
Lithosphere, v. 5, p. 477–482, https://doi.org/10.1130/L284.1.
- Strauss, J.V., Hoiland, C.W., Ward, W.P., Johnson, B.G., Nelson, L.L., and McClelland, W.C., 2017,
Orogen transplant: Taconic−Caledonian arc magmatism in the central Brooks Range of Alaska:
Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 129, p. 649–676, https://doi.org/10.1130/B31593.1.
- Strauss, J.V., Johnson, B.G., Colpron, M., Nelson, L.L., Perez, J.L., Benowitz, J.A., Ward, W.P.,
and McClelland, W.C., 2019a, Pre-Mississippian stratigraphy and provenance of the North Slope
subterrane of Arctic Alaska II: Basinal rocks of the northeastern Brooks Range and their
significance in circum-Arctic evolution, in Piepjohn, K., Strauss, J.V., Reinhardt, L., and
McClelland, W.C., eds., Circum-Arctic Structural Events: Tectonic Evolution of the Arctic Margins
and Trans-Arctic Links with Adjacent Orogens: Geological Society of America Special Paper 541, p.
- Strauss, J.V., Macdonald, F.A., and McClelland, W.C., 2019b, Pre-Mississippian stratigraphy and
provenance of the North Slope subterrane of Arctic Alaska I: Platformal carbonate rocks of the
northeastern Brooks Range and their significance in circum-Arctic evolution, in Piepjohn,
K., Strauss, J.V., Reinhardt, L., and McClelland, W.C., eds., Circum-Arctic Structural Events:
Tectonic Evolution of the Arctic Margins and Trans-Arctic Links with Adjacent Orogens: Geological
Society of America Special Paper 541, p. 493–524, https://doi.org/10.1130/2018.2541(22).
- Sundell, K., Saylor, J.E., and Pecha, M., 2019, Provenance and recycling of detrital zircons from
Cenozoic Altiplano strata and the crustal evolution of western South America from combined U-Pb and
Lu-Hf isotopic analysis, in Horton, B., and Folguera, A., eds., Andean Tectonics:
Am-sterdam, Elsevier, p. 363–397, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-816009-1.00014-9.
- Torsvik, T.H., and Cocks, L.R.M., 2017, Earth history and paleogeography: Cambridge, UK, Cambridge
University Press, 317 p., https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316225523.
- Trettin, H.P., 1998, Pre-Carboniferous geology of the northern part of the Arctic Islands:
Geological Survey of Canada Bulletin, v. 401, 248 p.
- von Gosen, W., Piepjohn, K., McClelland, W.C., and Colpron, M., 2019, Evidence for the sinistral
Porcupine Shear Zone in northwest Yukon (Canadian Arctic) and geotectonic implications, in
Piepjohn, K., Strauss, J.V., Reinhardt, L., and McClelland, W.C., eds., Circum-Arctic Structural
Events: Tectonic Evolution of the Arctic Margins and Trans-Arctic Links with Adjacent Orogens:
Geological Society of America Special Paper 541, p. 473–492, https://doi.org/10.1130/2018.2541(21).
- Ward, W.P., Strauss, J.V., Johnson, B.G., McClelland, W.C., Colpron, M., von Gosen, W., Piepjohn,
K., Coble, M.A., Crockford, P.W., and Landis, J., 2019, Age, geochemistry, and significance of
Devonian felsic magmatism in the North Slope subterrane, Yukon, Canadian Arctic, in
Piepjohn, K., Strauss, J.V., Reinhardt, L., and McClelland, W.C., eds., Circum-Arctic Structural
Events: Tectonic Evolution of the Arctic Margins and Trans-Arctic Links with Adjacent Orogens:
Geological Society of America Special Paper 541, p. 593–618, https://doi.org/10.1130/2019.2541(25).
- White, C., Gehrels, G.E., Pecha, M., Giesler, D., Yokelson, I., and McClelland, W.C., 2016, U-Pb and
Hf isotope analysis of detrital zircons from Paleozoic strata of the southern Alexander terrane
(southeast Alaska): Lithosphere, v. 8, p. 83–96, https://doi.org/10.1130/L475.1.