The Denali fault, a transcurrent fault system that extends from northwestern Canada across Alaska toward the Bering Sea, is partitioned into segments that exhibit variable levels of historical seismicity. A pair of earthquakes (M 6.2 and 6.3) on 1 May 2017, in proximity to the Eastern Denali fault (EDF), exhibited source mechanisms and stress conditions inconsistent with expectations for strike-slip fault activation. Precise relocation of ~1500 aftershocks revealed distinct fault strands that are oblique to the EDF. Calculated patterns of Coulomb stress show that the first earthquake likely triggered the second one. The EDF parallels the Fairweather transform, which separates the obliquely colliding Yakutat microplate from North America. In our model, inboard transfer of stress is deforming and shortening the mountainous region between the EDF and the Fairweather transform. This is supported by historical seismicity concentrated southwest of the EDF, suggesting that it now represents a structural boundary that controls regional deformation but is no longer an active fault.

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