Lower Paleozoic deep-water facies of the Medfra area, central Alaska: A section in Geologic studies in Alaska by the U.S. Geological Survey, 1997

Professional Paper 1614
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Abstract

Deep-water facies, chiefly hemipelagic deposits and turbidites, of Cambrian through Devonian age are widely exposed in the Medfra and Mt. McKinley quadrangles. These strata include the upper part of the Telsitna Formation (Middle-Upper Ordovician) and the Paradise Fork Formation (Lower Silurian-Lower Devonian) in the Nixon Fork terrane, the East Fork Hills Formation (Upper Cambrian-Lower Devonian) in the East Fork subterrane of the Minchumina terrane, and the chert and argillite unit (Ordovician) and the argillite and quartzite unit (Silurian- Devonian? and possibly older) in the Telida subterrane of the Minchumina terrane.

In the western part of the study area (Medfra quadrangle), both hemipelagic deposits and turbidites are largely calcareous and were derived from the Nixon Fork carbonate platform. East- ern exposures (Mt. McKinley quadrangle; eastern part of the Telida subterrane) contain much less carbonate; hemipelagic strata are mostly chert, and turbidites contain abundant rounded quartz and lesser plagioclase and potassium feldspar. Deep-water facies in the Medfra quadrangle correlate well with rocks of the Dillinger terrane exposed to the south (McGrath quadrangle), but coeval strata in the Mt. McKinley quadrangle are compositionally similar to rocks to the northeast (Livengood quadrangle). Petrographic data thus suggest that the Telida subterranes presently defined is an artificial construct made up of two distinct sequences of disparate provenance.

Restoration of 90 and 150 km of dextral strike-slip on the Iditarod and Farewell faults, respectively, aligns the deep-water strata of the Minchumina and Dillinger terranes in a position east of the Nixon Fork carbonate platform. This restoration supports the interpretation that lower Paleozoic rocks in the Nixon Fork and Dillinger terranes, and in the western part of the Minchumina terrane (East Fork subterrane and western part of the Telida subterrane), formed along a single continental margin. Rocks in the eastern part of the Telida subterrane are compositionally distinct from those to the west and may have had a different origin and history.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Lower Paleozoic deep-water facies of the Medfra area, central Alaska: A section in Geologic studies in Alaska by the U.S. Geological Survey, 1997
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1614
DOI 10.3133/70180430
Year Published 1999
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Denver, CO
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center, Alaska Science Center Geology Minerals, Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Description 31 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title Geologic studies in Alaska by the U.S. Geological Survey, 1997 (Professional Paper 1614)
First page 73
Last page 103
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Medfra area
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