Ordinary General Meeting
9 December 1970 at 5.00 p.m.
This meeting was devoted to a presentation by staff of The British Petroleum Company Ltd, on Alaskan exploration and the development of the Prudhoe Bay Oilfield.
1. The general geology of northern Alaska By R. Stoneley.
Alaska is a country of over half-a-million square miles. It can be divided into three major geological-physiographical provinces: southern Alaska formed of the arcuate Pacific Mountain System (the Aleutian-Alaska and Coastal Ranges, separated by depressions), central or interior Alaska which is the counterpart of the inter-montane plateaux of the western United States, and northern Alaska, the extension of the Rocky Mountain System and Interior Plains.
Northern Alaska, on which attention was focussed in the lecture, includes the Brooks Range, the Arctic Foothills and the treeless tundra of the Arctic Coastal Plain or Slope, in all an area of about 125000 square miles. The Brooks Range is a continuous chain of mountains composed of Palaeozoic and early Mesozoic sedimentary rocks which in the western and central part are thrust northwards over the Mesozoic rocks of the foothills.
The Arctic foothills are underlain by a very thick succession of Cretaceous flysch and molasse which in the southern part show complex fold and thrust structures comparable with the foothills structures of the Canadian Rockies. In the northern foothills the Cretaceous beds exposed at the surface are folded into a series of long, narrow anticlines and broader synclines which for the most part die out at depth in a