Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences


Earth and Environmental Sciences (Geology)

First Advisor

Dr. Sean P. Bemis


The Hines Creek fault (HCF) is a Holocene-active fault in central Alaska. Its trace has been mapped several times, but data on the history of fault displacement is scarce. As a major crustal-scale geologic boundary with uncertain Quaternary tectonic activity, it is a priority for more to be known about the activity of this fault to better understand the hazards it presents to the Denali National Park and Preserve and Alaskan infrastructure. This study characterizes the late Quaternary activity of the HCF through surficial geologic mapping and paleoseismic investigations. Mapping revealed a very steep (~84°-88° apparent dip), north dipping fault plane and measurements from offset Pleistocene outwash terraces revealed south side-down vertical offsets of up to 12 m, indicating a steeply dipping reverse fault. Three paleoseismic trenches excavated across the fault trace provided a record of seismic activity and hold evidence for at least four prehistoric earthquakes in the last 2 ka. Slip rate calculations estimate movement on the HCF to be between 0.6mm yr-1 and1.2 mm yr-1. The active trace of the HCF follows the southern margin of the tectonically active Mount Healy anticline, suggesting a kinematic linkage between the fault that underlies this anticline and the HCF.