Southern Alaska: Tectonic collisions and crustal growth

December 06, 2007

Boulder, CO, USA - Earthquake-prone southern Alaska, where Earth's Pacific plate moves northward at a rate of about two inches per year and is being subducted beneath the North American plate, is considered a classic illustration of tectonic collisions producing growth of continental margins. A new volume published by the Geological Society of America offers a comprehensive picture of the area's geologic structure, the processes that shaped it, and implications for mineral exploration.

Tectonic Growth of a Collisional Continental Margin: Crustal Evolution of Southern Alaska brings together new geophysical and geologic data, including results of many field based studies. Together its 24 papers illustrate relationships among the many complex sedimentary, structural, geochemical, and magnetic processes that have shaped the area.

According to lead editor Kenneth Ridgway, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University, central themes of the book are: The volume documents two major events: a collision that produced the largest addition of crust to western North America in the past 100-million years; and the ongoing collision of the Yakutat terrane that produced the Saint Elias Mountains, the highest coastal mountain range on Earth.
Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online bookstore ( or by contacting GSA Sales and Service,

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting Jeanette Hammann,

Tectonic Growth of a Collisional Continental Margin: Crustal Evolution of Southern Alaska
Kenneth D. Ridgway, Jeffrey M. Trop, Jonathan M.G. Glen, and J. Michael O'Neill (eds.)
Geological Society of America Special Paper 431
2007, 648 pages, US$155.00, GSA member price US$109.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-2431-7

Geological Society of America

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