Abstract

Aeromagnetic and gravity data are processed and interpreted to reveal deep and shallow information about the crustal structure of the central North Slope, Alaska. Regional aeromagnetic anomalies primarily reflect deep crustal features. Regional gravity anomalies are more complex and require detailed analysis. We constrain our geophysical models with seismic data and interpretations along two transects including the Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect. Combined geophysical analysis reveals a remarkable heterogeneity of the pre-Mississippian basement. In the central North Slope, pre-Mississippian basement consists of two distinct geophysical domains. To the southwest, the basement is dense and highly magnetic; this basement is likely mafic and mechanically strong, possibly acting as a buttress to basement involvement in Brooks Range thrusting. To the northeast, the central North Slope basement consists of lower density, moderately magnetic rocks with several discrete regions (intrusions?) of more magnetic rocks. A conjugate set of geophysical trends, northwest-southeast and southwest-northeast, may be a factor in the crustal response to tectonic compression in this domain. High-resolution gravity and aeromagnetic data, where available, reflect details of shallow fault and fold structure. The maps and profile models in this report should provide useful guidelines and complementary information for regional structural studies, particularly in combination with detailed seismic reflection interpretations. Future challenges include collection of high-resolution gravity and aeromagnetic data for the entire North Slope as well as additional deep crustal information from seismic, drilling, and other complementary methods.

You do not currently have access to this article.