The South Anyui suture zone consists of late Paleozoic–Jurassic ultramafic rocks and Jurassic–Cretaceous pre-, syn-, and postcollisional sedimentary rocks. It represents the closure of a Mesozoic ocean basin that separated two microcontinents in northeastern Russia, the Kolyma-Omolon block and the Chukotka block. In order to understand the geologic history and improve our understanding of Mesozoic paleogeography of the Arctic region, we obtained U-Pb ages on pre- and postcollisional igneous rocks and detrital zircons from sandstone in the suture zone. We identified four groups of sedimentary rocks: (1) Triassic sandstone deposited on the southern margin of Chukotka; (2) Middle Jurassic volcanogenic sandstone that was derived from the Oloy arc, a continental margin arc, along the Kolyma-Omolon block, south of the Anyui Ocean, a sample of which yielded no pre-Jurassic zircons and a single peak at 164 Ma; (3) suture zone sandstone that yielded Late Jurassic maximum depositional ages and likely predated the collision; and (4) a Mid-Cretaceous syncollisional sandstone that had a maximum depositional age of 125 Ma. These rocks were intruded by postkinematic plutons and dikes with ages of 109 Ma and 101 Ma that postdate the collision. We present a seismic-reflection line through the South Anyui suture zone that indicates south-vergence of thrusting of the Chukotka block over the Kolyma-Omolon block, opposite of most existing models and opposite of the vergence in the Angayucham suture zone, the postulated along-strike equivalent in Alaska. This suggests that Chukotka and Arctic Alaska may have different pre-Cretaceous histories, which could solve space problems with existing reconstructions of the Arctic region. We combine our detrital zircon data and interpretations of the seismic line to construct a new GPlates model for the Mesozoic evolution of the region that decouples Chukotka and Arctic Alaska to solve space problems with previous Arctic reconstructions.
- Received 19 December 2014.
- Revision received 2 July 2015.
- Accepted 22 July 2015.
- © 2015 Geological Society of America