Recent field-based studies indicate that the northern margin of North America is best interpreted as a tectonic boundary that experienced a long, complex history of strike-slip displacement. Structures juxtaposing the Pearya and Arctic Alaska terranes with North America are linked and define the Canadian Arctic transform system (CATS) that accommodated Paleozoic terrane translation, truncation of the Caledonian orogen, and shortening within the transpressional Ellesmerian orogen. The structure was reactivated during Mesozoic translational opening of the Canada Basin. Land-based evidence supporting translation along the Canadian Arctic margin is consistent with transform structures defined by marine geophysical data, thereby providing a robust alternative to the current consensus model for rotational opening of the Canada Basin.
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