AGS Field Trips 2013
Denali Field Trip - June 21-23, 2013 (Friday-Sunday)
Trip Area Photos
Field Trip Details
The Denali National Park & Preserve area provides one of the few opportunities in Alaska for road-side access to good rock outcrops. The rocks and surficial deposits exposed in the Denali area span from the early Paleozoic to the Quaternary. It is a structurally complex area that records evidence of numerous episodes of deformation and metamorphism in the Mesozoic, Tertiary, and present day. The region is the site of active faulting along one of the largest intra-continental fault systems, the Denali Fault system, which was the locus of a 7.9 M earthquake as recent as 2002. Rock units visited will include poly-deformed Devonian to Mississippian schist (that record rifting along the North American margin); Triassic greenstone diabase, and pillow basalt (another rifting episode); Triassic deep-water shales; Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous marine flysch (formed during accretion of most of southern Alaska); Devonian limestone olistostromal blocks; Late Cretaceous fluvial conglomerate and sandstone (containing dinosaur tracks); early Tertiary fluvial and lacustrine conglomerate, sandstone, and shale (that record the uplift of the Alaska Range); and numerous glacial deposits formed during the last ice-age.
June 21, Friday – Leave Anchorage 5:30 pm
The field trip will start from Anchorage at 5:30 pm on June 21. We will drive directly to the McKinley Park area and stay at the Denali Education Center (estimate 5 hours driving time).
June 22, Saturday – Geologic tour of Denali National Park & Preserve Road
On the morning of June 22 breakfast will be provided at the Denali Education Center, and a sack lunch will be provided. We will depart at 8:30 am for a geologic tour of the Denali National Park & Preserve road as far as the Eielson Visitor Center (estimate 9 hours driving time). Dinner will be on your own.
June 23, Sunday – Geologic tour of the Parks Highway from Healy to Cantwell
On Sunday June 23, we will depart the Denali Education Center at 8:00 and stop at a local restaurant for breakfast. We will then drive to Healy where we will start a geologic tour of the Parks Highway between Healy and Cantwell (stopping for lunch along the way). After the end of the tour we will drive back to Anchorage.
Due to vehicle restrictions on the Denali Park Road, only one 15 passenger van can be used, so the field trip is limited to the first 12 people that sign up.
Chad Hults is a geologist with the USGS at the Alaska Science Center in Anchorage, Alaska currently working on a new geologic map compilation of Alaska. He was provided the opportunity to live and work in Alaska when he was hired in 2001 as a GSA GeoCorps intern by the now deceased Denali National Park & Preserve geologist, Phil Brease. He worked in the park as a physical scientist until 2006 when he moved to Anchorage to work on the state map.
Denny Capps has been the geologist for Denali National Park and Preserve since 2011. Before coming to the park he worked mostly in geomorphology, geohazards, glaciology, and remote sensing. Denny first worked in Alaska as a GSA GeoCorps intern for Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in 2003. His primary roles at Denali have been informing the park on issues surrounding multiple aspects of fluvial geomorphology, vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, geohazards, and geologic education and outreach.
$280 for members, $330 for non-members, $140 for the first five students
- Van and gas
- 2 nights lodging at the Denali Education Center (shared rooms)
- Breakfast and lunch on Saturday
- Field guidebook
For more information, please contact: