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Origin of narrow terranes and adjacent major terranes occurring along the Denali fault in the Eastern and Central Alaska Range, Alaska

By
Warren J. Nokleberg
Warren J. Nokleberg
1
U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA
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Donald H. Richter
Donald H. Richter
2
U.S. Geological Survey, 4200 University Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2007

Several narrow terranes occur along the Denali fault in the Eastern and Central Alaska Range in Southern Alaska. These terranes are the Aurora Peak, Cottonwood Creek, Maclaren, Pingston, and Windy terranes, and a terrane of ultramafic and associated rocks. Exterior to the narrow terranes to the south is the major Wrangellia island arc composite terrane, and to the north is the major Yukon-Tanana metamorphosed continental margin terrane. Overlying mainly the northern margin of the Wrangellia composite terrane are the Kahiltna overlap assemblage to the west, and the Gravina-Nutzotin-Gambier volcanic-plutonic-sedimentary belt to the east and southeast. The various narrow terranes are interpreted as the result of translation of fragments of larger terranes during two major tectonic events: (1) Late Jurassic to mid-Cretaceous accretion of the Wrangellia island arc composite terrane (or superterrane composed of the Wrangellia, Peninsular, and Alexander terranes) and associated subduction zone complexes; and (2) starting in about the Late Cretaceous, dextral transport of the Wrangellia composite terrane along the Denali fault. These two major tectonic events caused: (1) entrapment of a lens of oceanic lithosphere along the suture belt between the Wrangellia composite terrane and the North American Craton Margin and outboard accreted terranes to form the ultramafic and mafic part of the terrane of ultra-mafic and associated rocks, (2) subsequent dextral translation along the Denali fault of the terrane of ultramafic and associated rocks, (3) dextral translation along the Denali fault of the Aurora Peak, Cottonwood Creek, and Maclaren and continental margin arc terranes from part of the Coast plutonic-metamorphic complex (Coast-North Cascade plutonic belt) in the southwest Yukon Territory or Southeastern Alaska, (4) dextral translation along the Denali fault of the Pingston passive continental margin from a locus along the North American Continental Margin, and (5) formation and dextral transport along the Denali fault of the mélange of the Windy terrane from fragments of the Gravina-Nutzotin-Gambier volcanic-plutonic-sedimentary belt and from the North American Continental Margin.

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GSA Special Papers

Tectonic Growth of a Collisional Continental Margin: Crustal Evolution of Southern Alaska

Kenneth D. Ridgway
Kenneth D. Ridgway
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Jeffrey M. Trop
Jeffrey M. Trop
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Jonathan M.G. Glen
Jonathan M.G. Glen
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J. Michael O'Neill
J. Michael O'Neill
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Geological Society of America
Volume
431
ISBN print:
9780813724317
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

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