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Molluscan evidence for early middle Miocene marine glaciation in southern Alaska

Geological Society of America Bulletin

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Abstract

Profound cooling of Miocene marine climates in southern Alaska culminated in early middle Miocene coastal marine glaciation in the northeastern Gulf of Alaska. This climatic change resulted from interaction of the Yakutat terrane with southern Alaska beginning in late Oligocene time. The ensuing extreme uplift of the coastal Chugach and St. Elias Mountains resulted in progressive regional cooling that culminated in coastal marine glaciation beginning in the early middle Miocene (15-16 Ma) and continuing to the present. The counterclockwise flow of surface water from the frigid northeastern Gulf of Alaska resulted in a cold-temperate shallow-marine environment in the western Gulf of Alaska, as it does today. Ironically, dating of Gulf of Alaska marine glaciation as early middle Miocene is strongly reinforced by the presence of a few tropical and subtropical mollusks in western Gulf of Alaska faunas. Shallow-marine waters throughout the Gulf of Alaska were cold-temperate to cold in the early middle Miocene, when the world ocean was undergoing peak Neogene warming. -Author

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Molluscan evidence for early middle Miocene marine glaciation in southern Alaska
Series title:
Geological Society of America Bulletin
Volume
102
Issue:
11
Year Published:
1990
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geological Society of America Bulletin
First page:
1591
Last page:
1599
Number of Pages:
9