The Kahiltna assemblage in the western Alaska Range consists of deformed Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous clastic strata that lie between the Alexander-Wrangellia-Peninsular terrane to the south and the Farewell and other pericratonic terranes to the north. Differences in detrital zircon populations and sandstone petrography allow geographic separation of the strata into two different successions, each consisting of multiple units, or petrofacies, with distinct provenance and lithologic characteristics. The northwestern succession was largely derived from older, inboard pericratonic terranes and correlates along strike to the southwest with the Kuskokwim Group. The southeastern succession is characterized by volcanic and plutonic rock detritus derived from Late Jurassic igneous rocks of the Alexander-Wrangellia-Peninsular terrane and mid- to Late Cretaceous arc-related igneous rocks and is part of a longer belt to the southwest and northeast, here named the Koksetna-Clearwater belt. The two successions remained separate depositional systems until the Late Cretaceous, when the northwestern succession overlapped the southeastern succession at ca. 81 Ma. They were deformed together ca. 80 Ma by southeast-verging fold-and-thrust–style deformation interpreted to represent final accretion of the Alexander-Wrangellia-Peninsular terrane along the southern Alaska margin. We interpret the tectonic evolution of the Kahiltna successions as a progression from forearc sedimentation and accretion in a south-facing continental magmatic arc to arrival and partial underthrusting of the back-arc flank of an active, south-facing island-arc system (Alexander-Wrangellia-Peninsular terrane). A modern analogue is the ongoing collision and partial underthrusting of the Izu-Bonin-Marianas island arc beneath the Japan Trench–Nankai Trough on the east side of central Japan.

Gold Open Access: This paper is published under the terms of the CC-BY-NC license.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.

Supplementary data