Regional Fluid Flow and Basin Modeling in Northern Alaska
The origin, timing, and flux of fluids generated from Carboniferous to Cretaceous basins in the Brooks Range have outstanding relevance to the mineral and hydrocarbon resources in northern Alaska. Fluid-transported metals that migrated through Paleozoic clastic rocks resulted in enormous mineral deposits, including the largest accumulation of zinc and barite in the world in the Red Dog district of western Brooks Range. Prolific hydrocarbon source rocks of Carboniferous age in the Brooks Range appears to have generated considerable amounts of petroleum that probably contributed to the world-class petroleum resources of the North Slope (e.g., Lisburne petroleum system). The endowment of mineral and energy resources suggests that the scale of fluid flow and flux of metals and petroleum in the sedimentary basins was vast. This project is attempting to improve our understanding of the role of fluid migration and contribute to more effective assessments of resources in sedimentary basins of northern Alaska. Geologic, sedimentologic and paleontologic, geochemical, and structural data will be used to contruct hydrologic/chemical models that will allow us to compare and test conceptual models for ore fluid migration and petroleum generation.
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