THE YAKUTAT TERRANE PUZZLE: AN INTERACTIVE MAP OF EARTHQUAKES, FAULTS, GPS VELOCITIES, VOLCANOES AND OTHER GEOPHYSICAL DATA
From the Alaska Peninsula to the east the subducting Pacific plate, represented by the deep earthquake zone curves northwards near Cook Inlet, diverging from the megathrust and crossing the Denali Fault under Mt. McKinley. A large gap in surface volcanism between Hayes Glacier volcano and Jumbo Dome, the northernmost arc volcanism, may be related to a thickened slab under the Alaska Range.
The Wrangell Mountains include a group of very large Quaternary volcanoes whose chemistry is characteristic of a subduction zone/arc setting. There are very few deep earthquakes spatially associated with this volcanic assemblage and the volcanoes are clumped together rather than spaced out along a subducting slab.
The very wide gap between the megathrust and the volcano line is highlighted by a high density of earthquakes at depths around 50km and shallower, strongly indicating Flat-Slab subduction. The Flat-Slab earthquakes end abruptly along a northwest-southeast line more or less parallel to the overall motion of the Pacific Plate and the Yakutat Terrane.
Current subsurface models of the subducting Yakutat Terrane are largely based on tomographic modeling and place the western part of the slab under the seismically active Flat-Slab area but it may extend eastwards under much of the Copper River Basin, currently a large seismically dead zone. These models are being actively pursued.
To allow speculation on these observations we present a layered map showing topography, earthquakes color coded for depth, GPS measurements color coded for velocities, the distribution of faults, the distribution of volcanoes and models for the subsurface extent of the Yakutat Terrane. All of these features can be switched on and off to allow clearer views of their complicated interactions with each other.