Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Spring 2016

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Geoscience

First Advisor

Emily Finzel

Abstract

Strata in the Cook Inlet forearc basin in south-central Alaska record the effects of tectonic events related to normal subduction and two flat-slab subduction events. Through detrital zircon geochronology we track provenance changes of strata deposited in a forearc basin in conjunction with these different subduction processes. Our data from strata deposited concurrent with normal subduction help to confirm previous provenance models of forearc basins that suggest provenance is sourced primarily from a proximal, coeval arc. However, compared to these models, our data from strata deposited coincident to flat-slab events show markedly different provenance signatures dependent upon: (1) geographic position relative to the flat-slab event; (2) pre-established, or lack thereof, topography; and (3) type of flat-slab event. Detrital zircon signatures of strata deposited in the Cook Inlet after flat-slab subduction of a mid-ocean ridge diversify to include older detritus found in the distal inboard region. This distal signature is then incrementally cut-off in younger strata due to deformation of the upper-plate from progressive insertion of a shallowly subducted oceanic plateau. Detrital zircon signatures for strata associated with each flat-slab event are largely older than depositional age due to the lack of coeval arc activity. Our data may help to improve the ability to recognize other flat-slab events through detrital zircon geochronology. In particular, changes in detrital zircon signatures found in strata deposited during flat-slab subduction of an oceanic plateau correlate well with the exhumation of rocks associated with the propagation of deformation in the over-riding plate due to plate coupling.

Public Abstract

Strata in the Cook Inlet forearc basin in south-central Alaska record the effects of tectonic events related to normal subduction and two flat-slab subduction events. Through detrital zircon geochronology we track provenance changes of strata deposited in a forearc basin in conjunction with these different subduction processes. Our data from strata deposited concurrent with normal subduction help to confirm previous provenance models of forearc basins that suggest provenance is sourced primarily from a proximal, coeval arc. However, compared to these models, our data from strata deposited coincident to flat-slab events show markedly different provenance signatures dependent upon: (1) geographic position relative to the flat-slab event; (2) pre-established, or lack thereof, topography; and (3) type of flat-slab event.

Detrital zircon signatures of strata deposited in the Cook Inlet after flat-slab subduction of a mid-ocean ridge diversify to include older detritus found in the distal inboard region. This distal signature is then incrementally cut-off in younger strata due to deformation of the upper-plate from progressive insertion of a shallowly subducted oceanic plateau. Detrital zircon signatures for strata associated with each flat-slab event are largely older than depositional age due to the lack of coeval arc activity. Our data may help to improve the ability to recognize other flat-slab events through detrital zircon geochronology. In particular, changes in detrital zircon signatures found in strata deposited during flat-slab subduction of an oceanic plateau correlate well with the exhumation of rocks associated with the propagation of deformation in the over-riding plate due to plate coupling.

Keywords

publicabstract, Alaska, Detrital Zircon, Flat-slab subduction, Forearc basin, Provenance, Tectonics

Pages

viii, 164 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 56-67).

Copyright

Copyright 2016 Tyler Hedeen

Included in

Geology Commons

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