Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program



Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

Pavlis, Terry

Second Advisor

Serpa, Laura

Third Advisor

Kulp, Mark


Strain within the crust is accommodated along vertical gradients, but a general characterization is difficult given the heterogeneity of the earth's outermost layer. The western termination of the Chugach metamorphic complex in southern Alaska includes a uniquely well exposed crustal section ideal for obtaining the vertical profile of a crustal section. Field studies in this area resulted in the characterization of deformational fabric and analysis of finite strain magnitude and orientation. These observational data provide constraints for kinematic modeling following results presented in Teyssier and Cruz (2004). By optimizing the fit between field data, finite strain analysis, and modeling, a complex ductile stratification of the crust is inferred. I conclude that strain was concentrated within the lower crust, becoming more diffuse in upper ductile levels. This unconventional crustal stratification and vertical strain gradient was consistent with an anomalously high thermal gradient created by the adjacent subducting spreading ridge.


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