Dr. Wallace and his students conduct field-oriented research on fold-and-thrust structures and orogenic belts. This work is based mainly on examples in and near Alaska, with a primary focus on the Brooks Range of northern Alaska. These studies aim to develop a better understanding of the structural geometry and evolution of fold-and-thrust structures such as detachment folds and duplexes, while also seeking to reconstruct the structural evolution and paleogeography of the Brooks Range. Geometric-kinematic models and balanced cross sections are the primary tools used to reconstruct the geometry and evolution of structures, combining structural observations with data from stratigraphy, thermochronology (e.g., fission-track dating), and geophysics (e.g., deep seismic data). Targets for recent field studies include the northeastern Brooks Range (in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), the north-central Brooks Range (near the Trans-Alaska Pipeline), and the central foothills of the Brooks Range.
Another important area of interest is the relationship of structural deformation to uplift, erosion, and deposition in mountain belts and adjacent basins, both in areas of current tectonic activity and in ancient examples. This work explores the interplay of deformational and surface processes while providing insight into the workings of various types of potentially seismogenic structures. The focus of recent studies has been on young folds and thrust faults in the northern Alaska Range and in the Yakataga fold-and-thrust belt along the Gulf of Alaska margin.
- Geometry and kinematics of fold-and-thrust structures
- Structure and evolution of the Brooks Range
- Tectonic evolution of Alaska
- Active tectonics and topography of the north-central Alaska Range
- Geological Society of America
- American Association of Petroleum Geologists
- American Geophysical Union
- Alaska Geological Society
- Wallace, W.K., Duncan, A.S., Finzel, E.S., and Sanders, C., 2011, Geometry and evolution of folds in the central Brooks Range foothills, in Hanks, C.L., ed., Producing light oil from a frozen reservoir: Reservoir and fluid characterization of Umiat field, National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska: Department of Energy, Annual report for DOE award DE-FC26-08NT0005641, Chapter 5, 40 p.
- Wartes, M.A., Wallace, W.K., Loveland, A.M., Gillis, R.J., Decker, P.L., Reifenstuhl, R.R., Delaney, P.R., LePain, D.L., and Carson, E.C., 2011, Geologic map of the Kavik River area, Mount Michelson Quadrangle, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Report of Investigation 2011-3A, 15 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:63,360.
- Wallace, W.K., 2009, Mechanical stratigraphy and the structural geometry and evolution of the central and eastern foothills of the Brooks Range, northern Alaska, in Hanks, C.L., ed., Unraveling the timing of fluid migration and trap formation in the Brooks Range foothills: A key to discovering hydrocarbons: National Energy Technology Laboratory, Department of Energy, Final report for DOE award DE-FC26-06NT41248, Chapter 2, 34 p. (at http://www.osti.gov/bridge/index.jsp).
- Wallace, W.K., 2008, Yakataga fold-and-thrust belt: Structural geometry and tectonic implications of a small continental collision zone, in Freymueller, J., Haeusseler, P., Wesson, R., and Ekstrom, G., eds., Active tectonics and seismic potential of Alaska: American Geophysical Union monograph 179, p. 237-256.
- Bemis, S.P., and Wallace, W.K., 2007, Neotectonic framework of the north-central Alaska Range foothills, in Ridgway, K.D., Trop, J.M., Glen, J.M.G., and O’Neill, J.M., editors, Tectonic growth of a collisional continental margin: Crustal evolution of southern Alaska: Geological Society of America Special Paper 431, p. 549-572.
- Peapples, P.R., Wallace, W.K., Wartes, M.A., Swenson, R.F., Mull, C.G., Dumoulin, J.A., Harris, E.E., Finzel, E.S., Reifenstuhl, R.R., and Loveland, A.M., 2007, Geologic map of the Siksikpuk River area, Chandler Lake Quadrangle, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2007-1, 1 sheet, 1:63,360.
- Wallace, W.K., Atkinson, P.K., Jadamec, M.A., Shackleton, J.R., and Hanks, C.L., 2004, Geometry and evolution of detachment folds and thrust-truncated asymmetrical folds in the eastern Brooks Range, in Wallace, W.K., ed., The influence of fold and fracture development on reservoir behavior of the Lisburne Group of northern Alaska: U.S. Department of Energy, final report for September, 1998 to September, 2002, DOE award DE-AC26-98BC15102, Chapter 3, 59 p. (at http://www.osti.gov/bridge/index.jsp).
- Wallace, W.K., and Homza, T.X., 2004, Detachment folds versus fault-propagation folds, and their truncation by thrust faults, in McClay, K.R., editor, Thrust tectonics and petroleum systems: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 82, p. 324-355.
- Atkinson, P.K., and Wallace, W.K., 2003, Competent unit thickness variation in detachment folds in the northeastern Brooks Range, Alaska: geometric analysis and a conceptual model: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 25, no. 10, p. 1751-1771.
- O’Sullivan, P.B., and Wallace, W.K., 2002, Out-of-sequence, basement-involved structures in the Sadlerochit Mountains region of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska: Evidence and implications from fission-track thermochronology: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 114, no. 11, p. 1356-1378.
- Homza, T.X., and Wallace, W.K., 1997, Detachment folds with fixed hinges and variable detachment depth, northeastern Brooks Range, Alaska: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 19, nos. 3-4, p. 337-354.
- Wallace, W.K., Moore, T.E., and Plafker, G., 1997, Multistory duplexes with forward dipping roofs, north central Brooks Range, Alaska: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 102, no. B9 (special section on the USGS Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect), p. 20,773-20,796.
- Homza, T.X., and Wallace, W.K., 1995, Geometric and kinematic models for detachment folds with fixed and variable detachment depths: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 17, no. 4, p. 475-588.
- Moore, T.E., Wallace, W.K., Bird, K.J., Karl, S.M., Mull, C.G., and Dillon, J.T., 1994, Chapter 3: Geology of northern Alaska, in Plafker, G., and Berg, H.C., eds., The geology of Alaska: The Geology of North America, Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado, v. G1, p. 49-140.
- Wallace, W.K., 1993, Detachment folds and a passive-roof duplex: Examples from the northeastern Brooks Range, Alaska, in Solie, D.N., and Tannian, F., eds., Short Notes on Alaskan Geology 1993: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Geologic Report 113, p. 81-99.
- Wallace, W.K., and Hanks, C.L., 1990, Structural provinces of the northeastern Brooks Range, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 74, no. 7, p. 1100-1118.
- Wallace, W.K., Hanks, C.L., and Rogers, J.F., 1989, The southern Kahiltna terrane: Implications for the tectonic evolution of southwestern Alaska: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 101, no. 11, p. 1389-1407.
- Wallace, W.K., and Engebretson, D.C., 1984, Relationships between plate motions and Late Cretaceous to Paleogene magmatism in southwestern Alaska: Tectonics, v. 3, no. 2, p. 295-315; Publisher's correction: Tectonics, v. 3, no. 4, p. 497-498.