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Intrusive rocks of the Yakutat-St. Elias area, south-central Alaska

March 1, 1977

Twenty-three plutons, exposed over a total area of nearly 1200 km2, have been studied in the Alaska part of the St. Elias Mountains between long 138° and 141°W. Results of potassium-argon age determinations combined with field relations, petrography, and major- and trace-element chemistry suggest six major intrusive events: (1) late Paleozoic gabbro to quartz diorite intruded Paleozoic metamorphic rocks that are probably equivalent to the Kaskawulsh Group in adjacent areas of Canada, (2) Triassic quartz diorite formed one small pluton in undated metamorphic rocks near Mt. St. Elias, (3) Jurassic tonalite and granite intruded upper Paleozoic(?) and lower Mesozoic(?) metamorphic rocks, (4) Late Cretaceous or Tertiary altered tonalite formed three widely separated plutons in metasedimentary rocks of Jurassic(?) and Cretaceous age in the Yakutat Group, (5) Eocene granodiorite and granite, and (6) late Cenozoic tonalite and granodiorite intruded both the Yakutat Group and upper Paleozoic(?) and lower Mesozoic(?) metamorphic rocks. The Paleozoic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous or Tertiary plutonic suites are restricted to particular geologic terranes, and the Jurassic and Eocene suites correlate with regional plutonic belts present elsewhere in southern Alaska. The distribution of the Tertiary plutons does not require large-scale horizontal displacements along the Fairweather and other major high-angle faults. The available data indicate that the mineral resource potential of the Yakutat-St. Elias area is low for those deposits that are generally related to magmatic processes.

Publication Year 1977
Title Intrusive rocks of the Yakutat-St. Elias area, south-central Alaska
Authors Travis Hudson, George Plafker, Marvin A. Lanphere
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Research of the U.S. Geological Survey
Index ID 70233036
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse