The Wrangell volcanic field covers more than 10 000 km2 in southern Alaska and extends uninterrupted into northwest. Yukon Territory. Lavas in the field exhibit medium-K, calc-alkaline affinities, typical of continental volcanic arcs along convergent plate margins. Eleven major eruptive centers are recognized in the Alaskan part of the field. More than 90 K-Ar age determinations in the field show a northwesterly progression of eruptive activity from 26 Ma, near the Alaska-Yukon border, to about 0.2 Ma at the northwest end of the field. A few age determinations in the southeast extension of the field in Yukon Territory, Canada, range from 11 to 25 Ma. The ages indicate that the progression of volcanism in the Alaska part of the field increased from about 0.8 km/Ma, at 25 Ma, to more than 20 km/MA during the past 2 Ma. The progression of volcanic activity and its increased rate of migration with time is attributed to changes in the rate and angle of Pacific plate convergence and the progressive decoupling of the Yakutat terrane from North America. Subduction of Yakutat terrane-Pacific plate and Wrangell volcanic activity ceased about 200 000 years age when Pacific plate motion was taken up by strike-slip faulting and thrusting. ?? 1990 Springer-Verlag.
Additional Publication Details
Age and progression of volcanism, Wrangell volcanic field, Alaska