In 1948, several specimens identified as the plant genus Annularia, a primitive horsetail of Pennsylvanian or Permian age, were found in tuffaceous sandstone exposed near the northern end of Adak Island, Alaska. These beds form the basal part of the Andrew Lake Formation, a newly named sequence of marine sedimentary rocks that is more than 850 m thick, and, in the main, consists of northwest-dipping tuffaceous sandstone, siltstone, shale, and siliceous siltstone and shale interbedded with basaltic flows or penecontemporaneous(?) sills (or both) a few tens of meters thick. This formation rests depositionally(?) on the Finger Bay Volcanics, the massive and intensely altered andesitic and basaltic flows and pyroclastic rocks that form the bulk of Adak Island.
Mollusks, foraminifers, sponge spicules, and fish scales and skeletal remains occur in the lower 350 m of the section immediately overlying the basal “Annularia”-bearing beds. Included in this fauna is the pecten Pro-peamussium (cf. P. stanfordensis Arnold), of probable Eocene age; the associated foraminiferal fauna is provincially considered to be of late Eocene (Narizian) age, and the fish scales are similar to those found in the Narizian and Refugian (Eocene and Oligocene) of California. Examination of the matrix surrounding specimens of “Annularia” revealed a substantial dinoflagellate flora—establishing that the “Annularia”-bearing beds are themselves marine units of middle or late Eocene age.
The Andrew Lake Formation probably accumulated in a perched basin along the crestal region of an early Tertiary Aleutian ridge. Accordingly, there is no evidence for a Paleozoic Aleutian ridge. There is only scant evidence that the ridge existed in Mesozoic time.