Late Cenozoic Uplift of Denali and Its Relation to Relative Plate Motion and Fault Morphology

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Science  22 Jan 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5094, pp. 497-499
DOI: 10.1126/science.259.5094.497


Apatite fission-track analysis of samples that cover a 4-kilometer vertical section from the western flank of Denali (Mount McKinley), North America's highest mountain, suggests that the mountain massif was formed by rapid uplift (> 1 kilometer per million years) beginning ∼6 million years ago (Ma). Uplift was a result of the morphology of the Denali fault and a change in motion of the Pacific plate with respect to North America at ∼5 Ma, which created opposing tangential vectors of relative movement along the fault and forced the intervening crustal blocks upward.

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