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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Compilation of Geophysical, Geologic, and Tectonic Data for the Circum-North Pacific

by Mark L. Greninger1*, Simon L. Klemperer1, and Warren J. Nokleberg2, authors

Douglas S. Aitken2, Brian S. Bennett2, Keri L. Brennan3, Ronald W. Buhmann4, Stanislav G. Byalobzhesky5, Steven P. Gordey6, Roger A. Hansen7, Paul P. Hearn, Jr.8, Thomas G. Hildenbrand2, Allen M. Hittelman9, J. Murray Journeay6, Alexander I. Khanchuk10, Boris Khlebnikov11, D. Paul Mathieux8, James W. H. Monger6, Boris A. Natalin12, Leonid M. Parfenov13, Richard W. Saltus14, D.T. Sandwell15, Thomas Simkin16, Gregory Ulmishek8, and Frederic H. Wilson17, contributors

Warren J. Nokleberg2 and Michael F. Diggles2, editors

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-422
Version 1.0



Charles G. Groat, Director

This report is preliminary and has not been reviewed for conformity with U.S. Geological Survey editorial standards or with the North American Stratigraphic Code. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

*Now at: Anteon Corporation, PMD-10, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA

1 Department of Geophysics, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
2 U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California, USA
3 Chapleau, Ontario, Canada
4 National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA
5 Russian Academy of Sciences, Magadan, Russia
6 Geological Survey of Canada, Vancouver, Canada
7 University of Alaska, Fairbanks
8 U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, USA
9 National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA
10 Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, Russia
11 Research Information Center, GlavNIC, Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, Moscow, Russia
12 Russian Academy of Sciences, Khabarovsk, Russia
13 Russian Academy of Sciences, Yakutsk, Russia
14 U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado, USA
15 University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, USA
16 Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA
17 U.S. Geological Survey, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

cartoon map of North America and northeast Asia


This is an online version of a CD-ROM publication (U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-422), the abstract for which is reproduced below. The data for this publication total 665 MB and can be accessed using the links below. Detailed documentation from the CD-ROM are located in the /norpac/readme directory. The information there applies to this online version as well with the following exceptions: the ArcExplorer and Acrobat Reader software are not provided here but are available via links provided below. The index.pdx and index directory, used for Acrobat Seach on the CD-ROM do not work online and are therefore not included on this online version.


The accompanying directory structure contains a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) compilation of geophysical, geological, and tectonic data for the Circum-North Pacific. This area includes the Russian Far East, Alaska, the Canadian Cordillera, linking continental shelves, and adjacent oceans. This GIS compilation extends from 120°E to 115°W, and from 40°N to 80°N. This area encompasses: (1) to the south, the modern Pacific plate boundary of the Japan-Kuril and Aleutian subduction zones, the Queen Charlotte transform fault, and the Cascadia subduction zone; (2) to the north, the continent-ocean transition from the Eurasian and North American continents to the Arctic Ocean; (3) to the west, the diffuse Eurasian-North American plate boundary, including the probable Okhotsk plate; and (4) to the east, the Alaskan-Canadian Cordilleran fold belt. This compilation should be useful for: (1) studying the Mesozoic and Cenozoic collisional and accretionary tectonics that assembled this continental crust of this region; (2) studying the neotectonics of active and passive plate margins in this region; and (3) constructing and interpreting geophysical, geologic, and tectonic models of the region.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) programs provide powerful tools for managing and analyzing spatial databases. Geological applications include regional tectonics, geophysics, mineral and petroleum exploration, resource management, and land-use planning. This CD-ROM contains thematic layers of spatial data-sets for geology, gravity field, magnetic field, oceanic plates, overlap assemblages, seismology (earthquakes), tectonostratigraphic terranes, topography, and volcanoes. The GIS compilation can be viewed, manipulated, and plotted with commercial software (ArcView and ArcInfo) or through a freeware program (ArcExplorer) that can be downloaded from for both Unix and Windows computers using the button below.

ESRI logo button

This publication was made using data made available by the following organizations (listed alphabetically):

Alaska Biological Science Center
Alaska Division of Oil and Gas
Defense Mapping Agency
Eros Data Center
European Space Agency
Exxon Production Research Company
Geological Society of America
Geological Survey of Canada
Geological Survey of Japan
International Seismological Centre
Japan Oceanographic Data Center
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ministry of Geology, U.S.S.R.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Earthquake Information Center
National Geophysical Data Center
National Ocean Service
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Naval Research Laboratory
Research Information Center (GlavNIC), Russian Ministry of
Natural Resources (RMNR)
Russian Academy of Sciences
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Smithsonian Institution, Global Volcanism Program
Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Stanford University
United Nations Environment Programme/Global Resource
Information Database
U.S. Agency for International Development
United States Geological Survey
University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Navigate the directory structure

Move to the directory /norpac/readme and open one of the formats of readme.* files located there. Formats provided consist of .pdf (Adobe Acrobat), .doc (Microsoft Word 6.0), and .rtf (Rich Text Format). For If you do not have software that can open the .doc or .rtf files, the .pdf files can be opened with the Acrobat Reader described below.

CLICK HERE to navigate the directory structure and access the documentation and data files.

The documentation in PDF format

The readme file and detailed documentation file are provided here as PDF files. There are also PDF versions of several of the graphics in this report. Many of the illustrations are in color and are provided at high enough resolution that you can get high-quality copies on your printer.

To view PDF publications on this Web server, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader which is available using the button below.

Acrobat logo button

CLICK HERE view the readme file for this report (95 KB in PDF format).

CLICK HERE view the documentation file for this report (401 KB in PDF format).

View the version history

CLICK HERE view the version-history file for this report (1 KB in ASCII format).
ISBN 0-607-93623-1

The CD-ROM version of this report is for sale ($32 at time of this report) by:

U.S. Geological Survey
Information Services, National Mapping Division
Box 25046
Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0046
Telephone: (888) ASK-USGS

To contact the senior editor, email Warren Nokleberg (

The URL of this page is
Date created: November 30, 1999
Last modified: July 26, 2005
Email technical-support comments to Mike Diggles (