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Two opposing tectonic models have been offered to explain the regional structural relations in the north central Brooks Range fold-thrust belt of northern Alaska. The first suggests that rocks of the northern Endicott Mountains were thrust from south to north over the area of the present Mount Doonerak high and are therefore highly allochthonous. The second implies that the rocks of the northern Endicott Mountains were deposited in a basin that lay north of the Mount Doonerak high and later were thrust a short distance southward onto the northern flank of the high and are thus parautochthonous. To provide stratigraphic constraints for these models, this study examines Permian facies of the north central Brooks Range. Permian rocks in the north central Brooks Range comprise a thin (40 to 160 m thick), fining-upward succession of clastic, storm-influenced shelf deposits. When the rocks of the northern Endicott Mountains are restored south of the Mount Doonerak area, a minimum distance of 80 km, the Permian deposits grade systematically from distal facies (Siksikpuk Formation) in the southwest to proximal facies (Echooka Formation) in the northeast. Facies trends in the reconstructed Permian basin include, from southwest to northeast, (1) an increase in carbonate content and corresponding decrease in silica content, (2) a general darkening and thickening of shaley intervals, (3) an increase in proximal features of storm beds, including coarser, thicker, more abundant, and more closely spaced beds, and (4) an increase in abundance and diversity of the faunal assemblage with a corresponding decrease in age. These stratigraphic relations imply that rocks of the northern Endicott Mountains are allochthonous and structurally overlie a proximal stratigraphic succession similar to that exposed in the Mount Doonerak area and northeastern Brooks Range. Copyright 1997 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional Publication Details
Permian deposition in the north central Brooks Range, Alaska Constraints for tectonic reconstructions