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Abstract

This chapter describes the geology of northern Alaska, the largest geologic region of the state of Alaska. Lying entirely north of the Arctic Circle, this region covers an area of almost 400,000 km2 and includes all or part of 36 1:250,000 scale quadrangles (Fig. 1). Northern Alaska is bordered to the west and north by the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, to the east by the Canadian border, and to the south by the Yukon Flats and Koyukuk basin. Geologically, it is notable because it encompasses the most extensive area of coherent stratigraphy in the state, and it contains the Brooks Range, the structural continuation in Alaska of the Rocky Mountain system. Northern Alaska also contains the largest oil field in North America at Prudhoe Bay, the world's second-largest zinclead- silver deposit (Red Dog), important copper-zinc resources, and about one-third of the potential coal resources of the United States (Kirschner, this volume; Magoon, this volume; Nokleberg and others, this volume, Chapter 10; Wahrhaftig and others, this volume).

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