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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 928

Last Page: 929

Title: Tectonic History and Progressive Development of Fold-Thrust Belt in Eastern Gulf of Alaska: ABSTRACT

Author(s): James M. Funk

Article Type: Meeting abstract


The geology of the Gulf of Alaska, east of Kayak Island, records the temporal variation of three fundamentally different tectonic settings that developed owing to the interaction between plates along the western margin of North America. A late Meosozic to early Tertiary convergent margin setting is indicated by nearly contemporaneous plutonic belts, forearc-basin sequences, and accretionary terranes. In contrast, the middle Tertiary continental margin in the eastern Gulf of Alaska was relatively stable and is characterized by sedimentation in a subsiding basin with local extensional tectonism. The present tectonic setting was probably initiated during the

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Miocene and reflects a combinatyion of dextral strike-slip motion and oblique convergence. The proposed tectonic model suggests that most of the eastern Gulf of Alaska is underlain by early Tertiarty and older oceanic crust and that large-scale lateral displacement of the Yakutat block may not be necessary.

Late Tertiary convergence in the central Gulf of Alaska, or Yakataga district, has controlled the structural evolution of a complexly deformed, fold-thrust belt consisting of numerous subparallel folds and north-dipping thrust faults. Moving from north to south, deformation in this belt becomes progressively younger and less intense; most of the structures in the offshore part of the Yakataga district are late Pliocene to Pleistocene in age. Industry leased a number of these relatively young structures in April 1976, and subsequently drilled ten dry holes. The drilling results suggest that geopressures, resulting in part from tectonic stresses, low geothermal gradients, and poor sand development appear to be characteristic of these structures and contributed to the lack of success.

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