A remote sensing study using Landsat images was undertaken as part of the Alaska Mineral Resource Assessment Program (AMRAP). Geomorphic domains A and B, identified on enhanced Landsat images, divide Circle quadrangle south of Tintina fault zone into two regional areas having major differences in surface characteristics. Domain A is a roughly rectangular, northeast-trending area of relatively low relief and simple, widely spaced drainages, except where igneous rocks are exposed. In contrast, domain B, which bounds two sides of domain A, is more intricately dissected showing abrupt changes in slope and relatively high relief. The northwestern part of geomorphic domain A includes a previously mapped tectonostratigraphic terrane. The southeastern boundary of domain A occurs entirely within the adjoining tectonostratigraphic terrane. The sharp geomorphic contrast along the southeastern boundary of domain A and the existence of known faults along this boundary suggest that the southeastern part of domain A may be a subdivision of the adjoining terrane. Detailed field studies would be necessary to determine the characteristics of the subdivision.
Domain B appears to be divisible into large areas of different geomorphic terrains by east-northeast-trending curvilinear lines drawn on Landsat images. Segments of two of these lines correlate with parts of boundaries of mapped tectonostratigraphic terranes. On Landsat images prominent north-trending lineaments together with the curvilinear lines form a large-scale regional pattern that is transected by mapped north-northeast-trending high-angle faults. The lineaments indicate possible lithlogic variations and/or structural boundaries.
A statistical strike-frequency analysis of the linear features data for Circle quadrangle shows that northeast-trending linear features predominate throughout, and that most northwest-trending linear features are found south of Tintina fault zone. A major trend interval of N.64-72E. in the linear feature data, corresponds to the strike of foliations in metamorphic rocks and magnetic anomalies reflecting compositional variations suggesting that most linear features in the southern part of the quadrangle probably are related to lithologic variations brought about by folding and foliation of metamorphic rocks. A second important trend interval, N.14-35E., may be related to thrusting south of the Tintina fault zone, as high concentrations of linear features within this interval are found in areas of mapped thrusts. Low concentrations of linear features are found in areas of most igneous intrusives. High concentrations of linear features do not correspond to areas of mineralization in any consistent or significant way that would allow concentration patterns to be easily used as an aid in locating areas of mineralization.
The results of this remote sensing study indicate that there are several possibly important areas where further detailed studies are warranted.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Geomorphic domains and linear features on Landsat images, Circle Quadrangle, Alaska