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Abstract

Mafic and ultramafic complexes are widespread throughout Alaska, ranging in size from huge allochthonous masses several hundred square kilometers in area to tiny isolated blocks (Fig. 1). Some of these, such as the complexes in northern and western Alaska, clearly can be labeled ophiolites; others, such as the concentrically zoned bodies of southeastern Alaska, are not ophiolites; and still others, such as those in the Livengood belt of central Alaska, have uncertain affinities. All of the complexes discussed here, however, belong to well-defined belts that for the most part are confined to specific lithotectonic terranes or lie along terrane boundaries. Few of these complexes have been studied in detail, and the mode and time of emplacement of most are uncertain or controversial. In this chapter, we review available information on the structural setting and petrography of the complexes, and we describe the tectonic models that have been suggested to explain the mode of emplacement.

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