The Neogene Peters Hills basin is a small terrestrial basin that formed along the south flank of the Alaska Range during a time in which there was regional shortening. The formation of the Peters Hills basin is consistent with it being a wedge-top basin that formed on top of the active southeast-vergent Broad Pass thrust fault. Movement along this thrust raised a ridge of Jurassic and Cretaceous metasedimentary rocks, which then trapped behind it Miocene and Pliocene sediments that were derived from the growing Alaska Range. The presence of this thrust fault is consistent with regional structural, stratigraphic, seismicity, gravity, and aeromagnetic data. The Peters Hills basin is no longer a depocenter, but if the Broad Pass thrust remains active, it would help explain the westward decrease in Quaternary slip rate along the Denali fault system, and it may constitute a seismic hazard that could produce earthquakes in the Mw 7.6–7.8 range.

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