2012 FOP field trip announcement

Upper Tanana River Drainage- Outburst Flooding, Active Faults and Geologic Hazards

Trent Hubbard (trent.hubbard@alaska.gov) of the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS) and consulting geologist Dick Reger will colead a Labor Day weekend field trip through the upper Tanana-Chisana River and Tok-Slana River valleys to examine features related to the glacial history (emphasizing massive outburst flooding), eolian history, neotectonics, geologic hazards, and permafrost. This work is part of an ongoing assessment of the geology and geohazards along the Alaska Highway between Delta Junction and the Canada border.

Preliminary Itinerary

2012 Friends of the Pleistocene Field Trip—Geology and Geohazards of the Alaska Highway Corridor and northern Glenn Highway.

August 31- September 3, 2012


  • Camping -- ~$40 (less if sharing sites),
  • Food is the responsibility of the participants (Optional dinner and breakfast on Saturday night/ Sunday morning for $10),
  • Gas- ?? ( we encourage you to carpool)
  • Guidebook-- ?? (a small cost for printing, more info later)
  • T-shirts--??? (Optional, cost to be determined)

Friday, August 31 The night before (Gathering of the Friends):

  • Gather at the Delta State Recreation Area campground located at milepost 267.0 of the Richardson Highway just north of Delta Junction at 7:30 pm.
Camping & Food
  • Cost $10 per site--field trip participants will be in charge of their own campground cost and registration.
  • Participants are in charge of their own food. The campground is close to Delta Junction where food options are available.

Day 1

On Saturday we will travel south of Delta Junction ~5 miles on the Richardson Highway before returning to Delta Junction and traveling the Alaska Highway south toward Tok. The day will conclude at Cathedral Creeks Bed and Breakfast ~20 miles west of Tok.

Geology Highlights:
  • Overview of Donnelly and Delta Glaciations at a Delta River overlook
  • Possible Examination Delta Terminal Moraine deposits
  • Examine evidence of glacial outburst flooding near Berry Creek
  • Discuss permafrost and monitoring in a recently burned area near Berry Creek
  • Examine moletrack anticlines and discuss eastern Alaska Range neotectonics near Sam Creek
Camping & food
  • Cost is $10 per person ($5 for kids)
  • Dinner and breakfast can be purchased for at a total cost of $10. Please RSVP with Trent by August 20 th if you wish to purchase meals.

Day 2

For day two we will continue south on the Alaska Highway stopping approximately 5 miles beyond Tok. We will then return to Tok before travelling south on the Tok Cutoff to the Nabesna Road intersection. We will then return to Tok where the day will conclude with evening activities at the Tundra Lodge RV Park (MP 1315 Alaska Highway)

Geology Highlights:
  • Examine geologic hazards near Yerrick Creek
  • Examine outburst flood deposits in Tok fan
  • Visit localities where granular flood deposits are exposed and discuss a model of Late Wisconsin massive flooding in which the high-level meltwaters of Glacial Lake Atna broke through an ice barrier in the lower Slana River valley and entered the Tok River drainage
Camping & food
  • Cost to camp is $20 per site (up to 4 people) -- includes showers.
  • Participants will be responsible for their own and dinner and breakfast. The RV Park is in Tok and there are food options available.

Day 3: (optional)

On day 3 we will travel south on the Alaska Highway concluding the field trip ~5 miles north of Northway Junction.

Geology Highlights:
  • Discuss Pleistocene sand wedges in bedrock near the Tanana River
  • Examine eolian sand dunes between Tetlin Junction and Northway Junction
  • Discuss permafrost and thaw lake development near Midway Lake
  • Examine active landslide deposits near Northway Junction


There will be a guidebook available for trip participants. More information about the guidebook will be available as the trip dates approach. The guidebook will describe Quaternary geology along the field trip route and from the last field trip stop all the way to the Canada border.


We will have T-shirts available. More info about cost as the trip approaches.


For more information please contact Trent Hubbard, trent.hubbard@alaska.gov or Patricia Gallagher, patricia.gallagher@alaska.gov