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Cole, Frances, 1998

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Cole, Frances, 1998, An integrated model for the tectonic development of the north-central Brooks Range and Colville basin, northern Alaska: Palo Alto, California, Stanford University, M.S. thesis, 43 p.


I constructed a kinematic model for the sequence of deformation and sedimentation in the frontal Brooks Range and adjacent Colville basin in northern Alaska. The model is based on a tectonic subsidence analysis of the foreland basin, combined with structural, stratigraphic, and thermal studies of the northern edge of the Brooks Range thrust belt. I interpret six discrete tectonic events that led to the present-day configuration of the thrust belt in this area: (1) emplacement of ophiolitic allochthons over the distal continental margin rocks in Valanginian time, hundreds of kilometers south of this study, (2) Hauterivian uplift of the Barrow Arch rift margin, affecting the northern part of the Colville basin, (3) Barremian contraction involving emplacement of distal continental margin and ophiolitic allochthons onto the Endicott Mountains allochthon and creation of a southward dipping flexural basin on the North Slope autochthon, (4) mid-Cretaceous exhumation of imbricated rocks in the Brooks Range during northward propagation of the thrust front into the foreland, (5) minor thrusting in Late Cretaceous-Paleocene in the northern foreland to the northern limit of contractional structures, and (6) regional exhumation of the orogen and the foreland in Paleocene-Eocene time. This sequence of deformation agrees well with a simple model of a forward propagating thrust system.

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