Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Earth and Environmental Sciences (Geology)

First Advisor

Dr. Sean P. Bemis

Abstract

The tallest mountain in North America, Mount McKinley is situated inside a sharp bend in the right‐lateral Denali fault. This anomalous topography is clearly associated with the complex geometry of the Denali fault, but how this topography evolves in conjunction with the adjacent strike‐slip fault is unknown. To constrain how this fault bend is deforming, the Quaternary fault‐related deformation on the opposite side of the Denali fault from Mount McKinley were documented through combined geologic mapping, active fault characterization, and analysis of background seismicity. My mapping illustrates an east‐west change in faulting style where normal faults occur east of the fault bend and thrust faults predominate to the west. These faults offset glacial outwash terraces and moraines which, with tentative correlations with the regional glacial history, provide fault slip rates that suggest that the Denali fault bend is migrating southwestward. The complex and elevated regional seismicity corroborates the style of faulting associated with the fault bend and provide additional subsurface control on the location of active faults. Seismologic and neotectonic constraints suggest that the maximum compressive stress axis rotates from vertical east of the bend to horizontal and Denali fault‐normal west of the bend.

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