Evidence is presented for a previously unrecognized late Paleozoic orogeny in two parts of Alaska's Farewell terrane, an event that has not entered into published scenarios for the assembly of Alaska. The Farewell terrane was long regarded as a piece of the early Paleozoic passive margin of western Canada, but is now thought, instead, to have lain between the Siberian and Laurentian (North American) cratons during the early Paleozoic. Evidence for a late Paleozoic orogeny comes from two belts located 100-200 km apart. In the northern belt, metamorphic rocks dated at 284-285 Ma (three 40Ar/39Ar white-mica plateau ages) provide the main evidence for orogeny. The metamorphic rocks are interpreted as part of the hinterland of a late Paleozoic mountain belt, which we name the Browns Fork orogen. In the southern belt, thick accumulations of Pennsylvanian-Permian conglomerate and sandstone provide the main evidence for orogeny. These strata are interpreted as the eroded and deformed remnants of a late Paleozoic foreland basin, which we name the Dall Basin. We suggest that the Browns Fork orogen and Dall Basin comprise a matched pair formed during collision between the Farewell terrane and rocks to the west. The colliding object is largely buried beneath Late Cretaceous flysch to the west of the Farewell terrane, but may have included parts of the so-called Innoko terrane. The late Paleozoic convergent plate boundary represented by the Browns Fork orogen likely connected with other zones of plate convergence now located in Russia, elsewhere in Alaska, and in western Canada. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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Late Paleozoic orogeny in Alaska's Farewell terrane