Abstract

Quaternary faulting is well displayed along the Denali fault system and the recently recognized and related Totschunda fault system in the eastern Alaska Range. The principal movement on both fault systems is right-lateral strike-slip. Offset glacial features of Wisconsin age indicate minimum Holocene slip rates of 1.1 to 3.5 cm per year along parts of the Denali fault system, and 0.9 to 3.3 cm per year along the Totschunda fault system. Strike-slip movement along the Denali fault system may be no older than early Pliocene and, southeast of the Totschunda fault system junction, may have terminated by the middle Pleistocene. The strike-slip Totschunda fault system, a much younger feature probably no older than middle Pleistocene, exhibits 9 to 10 km of right-lateral offset and 1,500 m of relative vertical movement. The Totschunda fault system is aligned with, and has the same sense of slip as, the Fairweather fault in the Gulf of Alaska.

The Denali fault system and the Queen Charlotte Islands fault are part of a major transform fault system separating the North American and Pacific plates. Continental southern Alaska between the Aleutian arc and the Denali fault system is now largely coupled to the Pacific plate. The Totschunda-Fairweather alignment probably represents the beginning of a new transform fault by-passing the southeast part of the Denali fault system.

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