The geology and mineral resources of the Philip Smith Mountains quadrangle were virtually unexplored until the investigations for oil began in northern Alaska. Construction of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System has now made the quadrangle accessible by road. In 1975 and 1976 a team of geologists, geochemists, and geophysicists investigated the quadrangle in order to assess its mineral resource potential. This report is a guide to the resulting folio of twelve maps that
describe the geology, stream sediment geochemistry, aeromagnetic features, Landsat imagery, and mineral resources of the area.
The bedrock geology and aeromagnetic surveys show that mineral deposits associated with intrusive rocks are probably absent. However, the geology and geochemical anomalies do indicate the possibility of vein and strata-bound deposits of copper, lead, and zinc in the Paleozoic shale and carbonate rocks in the southern part of the quadrangle and of stratabound deposits of zinc and copper in the Permian and Mesozoic shales along the mountain front. The northwestern part of the quadrangle has a low to moderate potential for oil or gas; Mississippian carbonate rocks are the most likely reservoir. The only minerals produced to date have been construction materials.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
The Alaska Mineral Resource Assessment Program : guide to information contained in folio of geologic and mineral resource maps of the Philip Smith Mountains quadrangle, Alaska