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U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 2909

Geologic Map of the Yukon-Koyukuk Basin, Alaska

By William W. Patton, Jr., Frederic H. Wilson, Keith A. Labay, and Nora Shew



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This map and accompanying digital files represent part of a systematic effort to release geologic data for the United States in a uniform manner. All the geologic data in this series will be published as parts of the U.S. Geological Survey Data Series. The geologic data in this series have been compiled from a wide variety of sources, ranging from state and regional geologic maps to large-scale field mapping. The data are presented for use at a nominal scale of 1:500,000, although individual datasets may contain data suitable for use at larger scales. The metadata associated with each release will provide more detailed information on sources and appropriate scales for use. Associated attribute databases accompany the spatial database of the geology and are uniformly structured for ease in developing regional- and national-scale maps.

The 1:500,000-scale geologic map of the Yukon-Koyukuk Basin, Alaska, covers more than 200,000 square kilometers of western Alaska or nearly 15 percent of the total land area of the state. It stretches from the Brooks Range on the north to the Kuskokwim River and lower reaches of the Yukon River on the south and from Kotzebue Sound, Seward Peninsula, and Norton Sound on the west to the Yukon-Tanana Uplands and Tanana-Kuskokwim Lowlands on the east. It includes not only the northern and central part of the basin, but also the lands that border the basin. The area is characterized by isolated clusters of hills and low mountain ranges separated by broad alluviated interior and coastal lowlands. Most of the lowlands, except those bordering Kotzebue Sound and Norton Sound, support a heavy vegetation cover. Exposures of bedrock are generally limited to rubble-strewn ridgetops and to cutbanks along the rivers.

The map of the Yukon-Koyukuk Basin was prepared largely from geologic field data collected between 1953 and 1988 by the U.S. Geological Survey and published as 1:250,000-scale geologic quadrangle maps. Additional data for parts of the Wiseman, Ruby, Medfra, and Ophir quadrangles came from 1:63,360-scale quadrangle maps published by the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. The map also incorporates some unpublished field data for the Ruby quadrangle collected by R.M. Chapman between 1944 and 1977 and for parts of the Tanana, Bettles, Norton Bay, and Candle quadrangles collected by W.W. Patton, Jr. and others between 1954 and 1985. Sources of geologic map data for each of the eighteen 1:250,000-scale quadrangles used in compiling this 1:500,000-scale map of the Yukon-Koyukuk Basin as well as sources of general geologic information pertaining to the entire map area are provided in the “Sources of Information” section.

Version 1.0

First posted April 23, 2009
Revised July 6, 2009

This report is also available in print from:

USGS Information Services, Box 25286,
Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225
telephone: 888 ASK-USGS; e-mail:

For additional information contact:
Ric Wilson

Alaska Science Center, Geological Science

This report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); at least version 7 of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Patton, William W., Jr., Wilson, Fredric H, Labay, Keith A., and Shew, Nora, 2009, Geologic map of the Yukon-Koyukuk Basin, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 2909, scale 1:500,000, 2 sheets and pamphlet [].

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