An aeromagnetic profile from anchorage to Nome, Alaska




A total-intensity profile was obtained on a 500-mile flight by a U. S. Geological Survey airplane from Anchorage to NomeAlaska, on May 4, 1954. The average flight altitude was 6,000 ft above sea level except over the Alaska Range where the flight altitude was 9,000 ft. This profile crossed eight of the major tectonic elements of Alaska at right angles to their trend and gives valuable regional information in an area where other geophysical and geological information is scarce or lacking. The profile has a net gradient downward to the northwest, most of which is ascribed to the component of the earth's main magnetic field along the flight traverse. The great variety of magnetic anomalies which are superimposed on this gradient originate from variations in lithology along the traverse. All the magnetic anomalies, except a large one over the Yukon River, are caused by magnetic rocks at or near the surface. The magnetic profile may be divided into four major segments and nine subsegments, each having a characteristic magnetic pattern. Most of these can be related to a tectonic unit. The large plutons of the Talkeetna geanticline are clearly defined by a group of anomalies having the highest amplitudes of any on the profile. The Matanuska geosyncline to the east is represented by a 25-mile section of sloping profile consistent with a thick sedimentary section but indicating that the geosyncline is comparatively narrow near Anchorage. The 200-mile central magnetic segment is relatively free from all but very minor anomalies. This segment includes the Alaska Range geosyncline, the Tanana geanticline, and the Kuskokwim geosyncline; showing only slight magnetic contrasts between each of these elements. The two geosynclines either have thick Mesozoic sedimentary sections or have underlying crystalline rocks which are low in magnetic susceptibility at shallow depths. The rocks of the geanticline have a low but not negligible magnetic susceptibility and are predominantly Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. A single 300-gamma anomaly on the west edge of the central segment is caused by a small, mafic intrusive body in the Paleozoic metamorphic rocks of Mt. Hurst. West of this anomaly the profile consists of a series of small sharp anomalies which are probably caused by Paleozoic metavolcanic rocks of the Ruby geanticline. The second largest anomaly on the profile is in the Koyukuk geosyncline over the Yukon River. The source is calculated to be more than a mile deep and may be an intrusive body at least 15 miles wide. This anomaly is flanked by 20-mile sections of flat or sloping profile which indicate areas of thick sedimentary rocks, particularly in the region west of the Yukon River. The 150-mile Norton Sound magnetic segment on the western end of the profile consists of many closely spaced anomalies produced by rocks which are either volcanic or similar to the Seward complex. Of the four Cenozoic basins or lowlands crossed by the profile, three are underlain by rocks of moderate to high magnetic susceptibility at shallow depths. These are the Cook Inlet basin, part of which overlaps rocks of the Talkeetna geanticline, the Innoko basin of central Alaska which overlies the rocks of the Ruby geanticline, and the Norton basin, in which sedimentary deposits are thin or absent. The fourth, the Minchumina basin, is underlain by the low-susceptibility rocks at the Tanana geanticline, which are also probably close to the surface. 

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title An aeromagnetic profile from anchorage to Nome, Alaska
Series title Geophysics
DOI 10.1190/1.1438945
Volume 26
Issue 6
Year Published 1961
Language English
Publisher Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Description 11 p.
First page 716
Last page 726
Country United States
State Alaska
City Nome
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