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Natural fracture character and distribution adjacent to the Nenana basin, central Alaska

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dc.contributor.author Rizzo, Alec J.
dc.date.accessioned 2015-11-18T01:23:59Z
dc.date.available 2015-11-18T01:23:59Z
dc.date.issued 2015-08
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11122/6197
dc.description Thesis (M.S.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2015 en_US
dc.description.abstract The NE-trending Nenana basin is a Cenozoic-aged basin located in central Alaska between the Denali and Tintina fault systems. The narrow, deep basin is a current exploration target for oil and gas resources in Interior Alaska. Natural fractures were analyzed to further understand larger structural features such as faults and folds related to the structural evolution of the Nenana basin and surrounding areas. Fracture sets were measured and described on the margin of the basin at four field locations: the Fairbanks area, along the Parks Highway between Fairbanks and Nenana, and in outcrop around the Nenana and Healy areas. In addition to measuring fracture sets in outcrop and collecting oriented samples, statistical and thin section analyses were used to further analyze fracture characteristics. Calcite twin thermometry and apatite fission track analysis were used to constrain the timing and thermal evolution of the field area. Based on the orientations of observed map-scale faults, folds, and fracture sets, I divided the four field locations into two structural domains. Domain I is characterized by NE-striking faults and associated active seismicity while Domain II is dominated by E-W striking folds and faults related to the late Cenozoic development of the Northern Foothills fold-and-thrust belt. I interpret that fracture sets in Domain I are related to the evolution of high angle faulting between the Nenana basin and the Fairbanks area during Cenozoic time. In Domain II, I interpret fracture sets are related to the evolution of the fold-and-thrust belt north of the Alaska Range. By combining fracture characteristics and apatite fission track analyses I provide constraints for the timing and shear sense of larger structural features related to the opening history of the Nenana basin. Furthermore, I propose that the evolution of the Nenana basin took place in three distinct tectonic phases during the Cenozoic. The three phases represent the transition from a pure extensional setting in the Late Paleocene to oblique-extensional faulting from the Late Miocene to present day. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.title Natural fracture character and distribution adjacent to the Nenana basin, central Alaska en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.type.degree ms en_US
dc.identifier.department Department of Geosciences en_US
dc.contributor.chair Hanks, Catherine
dc.contributor.committee McCarthy, Paul
dc.contributor.committee Nadin, Elisabeth


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