Geologic and geochemical field studies were carded out from 1983 to 1987 in the Mount Katmai l?x2 ? quadrangle and adjoining region, at the northeast end of the Alaska Peninsula. The region is nearly entirely within Katmai National Park and Preserve and has had almost no mineral production, so prior to this study there were few data by which to assess the mineral potential of the region. This report describes the folio of publications that have resulted from the study: geologic maps, geochemical results, fossil identifications, radiometric rock ages, and an assessment of the undiscovered-mineral-resource potential of the region.
The Katmai region is inferred to potentially have three types of undiscovered mineral deposits: porphyry copper (molybdenum), precious-metal vein, and hot-springs gold. These deposit types occur elsewhere on the Alaska Peninsula in similar geologic units. Evidence suggesting their occurrence in the Katmai region is the presence of trace amounts of metals typically associated with these kinds of deposits in bedrock of certain tracts and in sediments of streams draining those tracts. Magma to provide heat, fractures to provide pathways for mineralizing fluids, and altered rock are required by genetic models of these deposit types. Such features do occur in the Katmai tracts. Confirmation of any mineral deposit in the Katmai region requires detailed follow-up sampling and acquisition of subsurface information, which is beyond the scope of this study. However, producing porphyry deposits are unknown elsewhere on the Alaska Peninsula in similar rocks, so if any such deposits occur in the Katmai region, they are likely to be few in number. Conversely, vein deposits are typically small in size so there may be several of such deposits.
The properties and thermal history of the sedimentary rocks that could serve as reservoirs for oil or gas are unfavorable in adjacent regions. Thus the potential of the Katmai region for producible quantities of fossil fuels is low. In theory the region has shallow concentrations of geothermal fluids, but specific evidence for their presence is obscured by heavy precipitation and cold young rocks or deposits. Small volumes of coal occur at tidewater sites on the Pacific coast.