Lithostratigraphic, conodont, and other faunal links between lower Paleozoic strata in northern and central Alaska and northeastern Russia

Geological Society of America Special Papers
By: , and 

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Abstract

Lower Paleozoic platform carbonate strata in northern Alaska (parts of the Arctic Alaska, York, and Seward terranes; herein called the North Alaska carbonate platform) and central Alaska (Farewell terrane) share distinctive lithologic and faunal features, and may have formed on a single continental fragment situated between Siberia and Laurentia. Sedimentary successions in northern and central Alaska overlie Late Proterozoic metamorphosed basement; contain Late Proterozoic ooid-rich dolostones, Middle Cambrian outer shelf deposits, and Ordovician, Silurian, and Devonian shallow-water platform facies, and include fossils of both Siberian and Laurentian biotic provinces. The presence in the Alaskan terranes of Siberian forms not seen in wellstudied cratonal margin sequences of western Laurentia implies that the Alaskan rocks were not attached to Laurentia during the early Paleozoic.

The Siberian cratonal succession includes Archean basement, Ordovician shallow-water siliciclastic rocks, and Upper Silurian–Devonian evaporites, none of which have counterparts in the Alaskan successions, and contains only a few of the Laurentian conodonts that occur in Alaska. Thus we conclude that the lower Paleozoic platform successions of northern and central Alaska were not part of the Siberian craton during their deposition, but may have formed on a crustal fragment rifted away from Siberia during the Late Proterozoic. The Alaskan strata have more similarities to coeval rocks in some peri-Siberian terranes of northeastern Russia (Kotelny, Chukotka, and Omulevka). Lithologic ties between northern Alaska, the Farewell terrane, and the peri-Siberian terranes diminish after the Middle Devonian, but Siberian afµnities in northern and central Alaskan biotas persist into the late Paleozoic.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Lithostratigraphic, conodont, and other faunal links between lower Paleozoic strata in northern and central Alaska and northeastern Russia
Series title Geological Society of America Special Papers
DOI 10.1130/0-8137-2360-4.291
Volume 360
Year Published 2002
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 22 p.
First page 291
Last page 312
Country Russia, United States
State Alaska
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