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U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3110

Geology of the Prince William Sound and Kenai Peninsula Region, Alaska

Compiled by Frederic H. Wilson and Chad P. Hults

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (7.9 MB)Abstract

The Prince William Sound and Kenai Peninsula region includes a significant part of one of the world’s largest accretionary complexes and a small part of the classic magmatic arc geology of the Alaska Peninsula. Physiographically, the map area ranges from the high glaciated mountains of the Alaska and Aleutian Ranges and the Chugach Mountains to the coastal lowlands of Cook Inlet and the Copper River delta. Structurally, the map area is cut by a number of major faults and postulated faults, the most important of which are the Border Ranges, Contact, and Bruin Bay Fault systems.

The rocks of the map area belong to the Southern Margin composite terrane, a Tertiary and Cretaceous or older subduction-related accretionary complex, and the Alaska Peninsula terrane. Mesozoic rocks between these two terranes have been variously assigned to the Peninsular or the Hidden terranes. The oldest rocks in the map area are blocks of Paleozoic age within the mélange of the McHugh Complex; however, the protolith age of the greenschist and blueschist within the Border Ranges Fault zone is not known. Extensive glacial deposits mantle the Kenai Peninsula and the lowlands on the west side of Cook Inlet and are locally found elsewhere in the map area.

This map was compiled from existing mapping, without generalization, and new or revised data was added where available.

First posted February 4, 2013

     Files for viewing and printing:

  • Pamphlet PDF (42 pages, 1.7 MB)
  • Sheet PDF screen-resolution (rasterized)
    (~60”x ~43”, 7.9 MB)
  • Sheet PDF print resolution (with layered vectors)
    (~60”x ~43”, 127 MB)
  •      This report is also available in print from:
            USGS Information Services, Box 25286,
            Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225
            telephone: 888 ASK-USGS;


  • The digital dataset files for this map are provided in:

    Wilson, F.H., Hults, C.P., Labay, K.A., and Shew, N., digital files preparation, and Wilson, F.H., and Hults, C.P., geologic map compilers, 2008, Digital data for the reconnaissance geologic map for Prince William Sound and the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008–1002.
  •      This report is available online only at:

For additional information contact:
Alaska Science Center staff
U.S. Geological Survey
4210 University Dr.
Anchorage, AK 99508
Alaska Mineral Resources
Alaska Science Center

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

Suggested citation:

Wilson, F.H., and Hults, C.P., comps., 2012, Geology of the Prince William Sound and Kenai Peninsula region, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3110, pamphlet 38 p., scale 1:350,000. (Available at

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