"Constraining the structure of the Sadlerochit Mountains, North east Aaska from high resolution photogrammetry"

Chris Messerich, Thesis 2020

"Constraining the structure of the Sadlerochit Mountains, North east Alaska from high resolution photogrammetry"
Advisor: Chris Connors

The Sadlerochit Mountains are the last surficial expression of geology before reaching the coastal plain of Alaska, and are often utilized to understand the subsurface geology of the Alaskan North Slope (Bird, 1999). The stratigraphy of the Sadlerochit Mountains includes four tectonomegasequences: Franklinian, Ellesmerian, Beaufortian, and Brookian (Strauss, 2018). Previous stratigraphic, tectonic, and structural interpretations have detailed two periods of active deformation, during the Franklinian and Brookian, that are responsible for creating the stunning topography we observe today (Bird, 1999). The purpose of this research was to utilize newly acquired high-resolution photogrammetry data to update previously interpreted geologic contacts and accurately capture the attitudes of bedding surfaces to construct balanced cross sections using a kinematic forward model. We were able to quantitatively and qualitatively compare the existing imagery and elevation models to our new high-resolution data. Through these comparisons we determined the photogrammetry-derived products are more accurate for our geologic interpretations. We were able to construct a balanced cross section across the western side of our study area, and we determined there was approximately 11.5 km of shortening associated with two deformational events in the Sadlerochit mountains.

Full thesis available. Contact the Geology Department at 540-458-8800.