Skip to Main Content


Southeastern Alaska, an archipelago also known as the “panhandle” of Alaska, is an approximately 52,000-mi2 area of intensely glaciated and heavily forested mountains that rise abruptly from a complex system of deep fiords and inland marine waterways. This area is underlain by a complex and heterogeneous assemblage of rocks, and is cut by an intricate network of thrust, normal, and strike-slip faults (Buddington and Chapin, 1929; Gehrels and Berg, 1992).

Rocks in the panhandle record a long and complete geologic history beginning in the Proterozoic, representing every Phanerozoic period, and continuing into the Holocene. These rocks are herein subdivided into ten tectonic assemblages (Figs. 1, 2, and 3), five of which are terranes that apparently contain distinct geologic records, and five of which are lithic assemblages that are in depositional, intrusive, or unknown contact with the terranes.

This chapter begins with a summary of the regional geology of southeastern Alaska derived primarily from the compilation of Gehrels and Berg (1992) and from more recent studies by us and many others. Next, we discuss the components and characteristics of each of the primary tectonic assemblages that make up south-eastern Alaska and then discuss constraints and speculations on the relations between the terranes. We then present a general overview of the tectonic evolution of the area.

Figures & Tables





Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal