Structure maps and seismic stratigraphy of the Yakataga segment of the continental margin, northern Gulf of Alaska

Miscellaneous Field Studies Map 1424




Multichannel seismic-reflection data show the late Cenozoic structure, seismic stratigraphy, and geologic history of the Yakataga segment of the continental margin, between Icy Bay and Kayak Island, northern Gulf of Alaska. The structure of the Yakataga segment consists of broad folds and associated thrust faults beneath the continental shelf and slope, trending generally northeast in the eastern part of the s~gment to east-west in the western part. Anticlines are generally asymmetric and doubly plunging and are commonly bounded on the seaward side by high-angle thrust faults. The degree of deformation is less intense than is observed in adjacent onshore areas. The age of deformation decreases seaward and the deformation shows an overall southeastward migration with time. Structures of similar age define three structural zones; structural growth was roughly contemporaneous in each structural zone, although the local growth pattern is complex in detail. Deformation within each structural zone was followed by subsidence and burial by rapidly deposited marine sediment. Deformation appears to have been continuous during the late Cenozoic, rather than a series of discrete events, because subsidence of a particular structural zone is accompanied by initiation of growth on a younger, more seaward zone. Varying degrees of reactivation of the older structures within recent time have resulted in renewed uplift of these structures. Average sedimentation, uplift, and subsidence rates are all extremely high, and generally range from about 1 to 2 m/1,000 yr; these rates can locally be much higher. The average strike of structures in the Yakataga segment indicates northwest-southeastward compression and is consistent with the current convergence direction between the Pacific and North America plates. Observed shortening within the segment is much less than required by the late Cenozoic convergence rate (about 6 cm/yr), and the major deformation is taken up elsewhere, primarily onshore. Thus, the deformation of the Yakataga segment is caused by minor shortening of the continental margin between Cross Sound and Kayak Island, which together comprise the Yakutat block, as the margin moves northwestward with the Pacific plate and collides with the North America plate.

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USGS Numbered Series
Structure maps and seismic stratigraphy of the Yakataga segment of the continental margin, northern Gulf of Alaska
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Miscellaneous Field Studies Map
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U.S. Geological Survey
Report: 20 p.; 4 Plates: 43.68 x 35.60 inches or smaller
United States
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