Combined geologic and seismic reflection data from the Atka Basin region of the Aleutian forearc show that the upper 2–3 km of slightly deformed sediment filling the basin are probably of late Miocene to Holocene age. The depositional axis of the basin shifted arcward over time because of the progressive and differential rise of the basin's outer ridge. Units filling the basin unconformably overlie and, along the edges of the basin, onlap beds of Oligocene age and older(?). The basal units of the basin fill are characterized by little variation in thickness, somewhat irregular internal reflectors, fault offsets, and possible wedge outs against units of Eocene(?) age. A fault with at least 500 m of vertical displacement cuts the outer high of the forearc basin and displaces beds of the basin-filling series relative to those trenchward of the trench-slope break. The Atka Basin appears to have formed in response to a combination of (1) initiation of trench-floor-filling turbidite deposition, in part derived from glacial marine sedimentation from mainland Alaska; (2) an increased rate and normal component in Pacific plate subduction beneath the central Aleutian arc beginning in early Pliocene time; and (3) formation of a broad and thick accretionary wedge that progressively uplifted the outer high of the Aleutian terrace.