Young volcanic rocks, undifferentiated

Unit symbol: QTv
Age range Quaternary or Tertiary (5.333 to 0.0117 Ma)
Lithology: Igneous - Volcanic
Group name: Young volcanic and shallow intrusive rocks
In western Alaska, from Nunivak Island and northward to the Seward Peninsula, these rocks are dominantly alkaline and tholeiitic basalt and locally contain ultramafic inclusions (Hoare, 1975; Cox and others, 1976). Analysis of rocks of this unit from the Pribilof Islands and Nunivak Island were used to establish the radiometric time scale for geomagnetic reversals (Cox and others, 1968). Unit includes numerous alkali basalt, basanite, and hawaiite cones, short flows, and maar craters. Cones and flows have little or no vegetative cover and still preserve some primary flow structures (Patton and others, 2009). Includes tholeiitic basalt of Binakslit Bluff on Nunivak Island (Hoare and others, 1968); massive, columnar-jointed flows; normally polarized flows of Gauss polarity epoch as well as normally and reversely polarized flows older than Gauss polarity epoch. Multiple samples yielded K/Ar ages between 5.01±.15 and 3.24±.10 Ma. Also includes alkalic basalt of Ahzwiryuk Bluff on Nunivak Island; nubbly mottled flows and pyroclastic ejecta; that also includes both normally and reversely polarized rocks older than Gauss polarity epoch (Hoare and others, 1968). Two samples from this unit yielded K/Ar ages of 6.28±.18 and 5.19±.15 Ma. Additionally, unit includes vesicular and dense basalt and olivine basanite flows and sills in the Pribilof Islands (Barth, 1956). Along the Alaska Peninsula and in the Aleutian Islands, unit includes a wide range of volcanic products, similar to unit Qv; the main distinction is that this unit includes rocks where the age is not unequivocally Quaternary. As such, this unit includes the Pochnoi Volcanics of Semisopochnoi Island (Coats, 1959b), as well as volcanic rocks of ancestral Mount Kanaton volcano on Kanaga Island (Coats, 1956b; Miller and others, 2003), the Massacre Bay Formation of Attu Island (Gates and others, 1971), the Williwaw Cove Formation of Little Sitkin Island (Snyder, 1959), the flows and tuff-breccia of olivine-, hypersthene-, and hornblende-bearing andesite associated with Andrew Bay volcano on Adak Island (Coats, 1956a) and agglomerate on Kanaga Island (Tva of Coats, 1956b). On Great Sitkin Island, unit includes flows and agglomerate of the Sand Bay Volcanics (Tsl and Tsa of Simons and Mathewson, 1955). Locally, also includes sandstone from reworked pyroclastic deposits, as well as the pyroclastic rocks and lava flows (unit QTpl of Coats, 1959b) and crystalline vent plugs (unit QTp of Coats, 1959b) on Semisopochnoi Island. Includes interbedded flows, pyroclastic deposits, sedimentary rocks, and fine-grained dikes and sills on Tanaga, Kanaga, and Unalga Islands (unit QT of Fraser and Barnett, 1959), andesitic and basaltic tuff and tuff-breccia on Shemya Island (unit QTt of Gates and others, 1971), and Quaternary or Tertiary basaltic rocks of Bobrof Island as reported by Coats (1956c). On Little Sitkin Island, this unit locally contains areas of kaolinized, silicified, and pyritized rock (Snyder, 1959). Undated columnar-jointed flows of fine-grained tholeiitic and alkaline-olivine basalt in the western Holy Cross quadrangle (Csejtey and Keith, 1992) are included here because of similarity to volcanic rocks in the adjacent quadrangles to the north, west, and southwest. Unit includes Pliocene rocks of the Wrangell volcanic field in the Gulkana, Nabesna, Valdez, and McCarthy quadrangles (Nichols and Yehle, 1969; Richter, 1976; Richter and others, 2006; MacKevett, 1978; Winkler and others, 1981; W. Nokleberg, written commun., 1997)

Source map information

Source map Richter, D.H., Preller, C.C., Labay, K.A., and Shew, N.B., 2006, Geology of Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve, southcentral Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Series Map SIM-2877, 15 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:350,000.
Symbol QTw
Unit name Older volcanic and sedimentary rocks - Lava flows
Description Chiefly andesite and dacite. Includes the sedimentary non-marine Frederika Formation that occurs locally at the base of the Wrangell volcanic field in the southern Wrangell Mountains
Lithology Igneous

Correlated geologic units

Label QTw
Description Wrangell Lava
Geologic age Miocene to Pleistocene
Geologic setting Extrusive
Lithology Form Importance
Andesite < Mafic-volcanic < Volcanic < Igneous Flow Major
Rhyolite < Felsic-volcanic < Volcanic < Igneous Flow Indeterminate, major
Basalt < Mafic-volcanic < Volcanic < Igneous Flow Indeterminate, major
Dacite < Felsic-volcanic < Volcanic < Igneous Flow Incidental