Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The neotectonics, uplift, and accommodation of deformation of the Talkeetna Mountains, south-central Alaska
by Mixon, Demi C., M.S., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2016, 113; 10138195
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hanks, Catherine
Commitee: Beget, James, Nadin, Elisabeth
School: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Department: Geology and Geophysics
School Location: United States -- Alaska
Source: MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Geology, Geomorphology
Keywords: Alaska, Neotectonics, Talkeetna mountains, Uplift
Publication Number: 10138195
ISBN: 978-1-339-93806-6
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