• Identifying areas of neotectonic activity using radar remote sensing in the northern foothills of the Alaska Range

      Denny, Casey L. (2013-05)
      The tectonically active northern foothills of the Alaska Range display obvious uplift and deformation, making the area an attractive place to conduct research. Research has been done in this area of Alaska in the recent past, most of which required intensive fieldwork. This study analyzes if modern radar remote sensing technology is useful in identifying neotectonic activity and in determining where future work should be conducted. Radar remote sensing data is used in two ways to support the identification of tectonically active areas: First, I incorporated available geologic maps with polarimetric and interferometric radar remote sensing data to create a classification scheme to identify and map the preserved depositional surface of the Nenana Gravel. This surface, successfully mapped and overlain on a newly available high-resolution DEM, highlighted the topographic expression of deformation in the area. Second, the high-resolution DEMs were used to create and analyze longitudinal river profiles, and a Stream Length-gradient Index Map, both of which correlate well with known active structures. This study indicates that radar remote sensing can be used to identify tectonically active areas before employing extensive fieldwork and used in combination with traditional geological procedures enhances the amount and quality of the derived information.