AbstractsEarth & Environmental Science

The neotectonics, uplift, and accommodation of deformation of the Talkeetna Mountains, south-central Alaska

by Demi C Mixon

Institution: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Year: 2016
Keywords: Geology; Geomorphology
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2093596
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10138195


South-central Alaska is home to many tectonic structures and mountain ranges that have experienced active uplift and deformation within the past 5 to 10 Ma. The Talkeetna Mountains are located above the area of flat-slab subduction of the Yakutat microplate. I hypothesize that the Talkeetna Mountains have been uplifted as a result of this underlying flat-slab subduction and that areas of the Talkeetna Mountains are neotectonically active. The Talkeetna Mountains are deforming heterogeneously across four different structural domains defined by differences in geomorphic patterns, seismicity, dominant fault types, and the orientation of horizontal maximum stress (SHmax). A strain partitioning structure divides the northern and southern domains, and is observed by a change in SHmax orientation from E-W in southern domains to NW-SE in the northern domain. The strain partition is accommodated by a crustal break along the Talkeetna thrust fault, which is expressed at the surface as a wide zone of deformation. Apatite fission-track analysis suggests two distinct periods of uplift: one dated from 45 to 30 Ma and another from approximately 10 Ma to present, with uplift rates of 0.14 mm/yr and 0.24 mm/yr, respectively. The first phase of uplift coincides with a time of significant plate reorganization in the north Pacific which resulted in translation of terranes northwestward. The second phase of uplift correlates with Neogene accretion of the Yakutat microplate. I propose that the majority of Neogene deformation and uplift in the Talkeetna Mountains is due to far-field deformation in the upper plate above the subducting slab. Variations in both composition of the crust and depth to the downgoing slab resulted in strain partitioning and northwest-directed compression in the northern Talkeetna Mountains and northwest compression and warping in the southern Talkeetna Mountains.