A mosaic of large lithospheric plates rims the Arctic Ocean Basin, and foldbelts between these plates contain numerous allochthonous microplates. A new model for continental drift and microplate accretion proposes that prior to the late Mesozoic the Kula plate extended from the Pacific into the Arctic. By a process of circumpolar drift and microplate accretion, fragments of the Pacific basin, including parts of the Kula plate, were cut off and isolated in the Arctic Ocean, the Yukon-Koyukuk basin in Alaska, and the Bering Sea. ?? 1980.
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Circum-arctic plate accretion - Isolating part of a pacific plate to form the nucleus of the Arctic Basin