Alaska Gold Rush History and Genealogy

 
   

 

   
The Bering Sea region includes St. Lawrence, St. Matthew, and the Pribilof Islands and nearby smaller islands and offshore rocks. It is considered as one district. The islands of the Bering Sea are mainly rolling uplands and emerged marine platforms, generally within a few hundred feet of sea level. Isolated mountain masses rise to altitudes between 800 and 900 feet, or about 2,000 feet above the shallow Bering Sea. (See Hopkins (1967).) The Pribilof Islands and St. Matthew are composed mainly of Cenozoic volcanic rocks and surficial deposits; peridotite older than the volcanic rocks underlies a small area on St. George Island in the Pribilofs (Barth, 1956; Cobb and others, 1968, p. K3—K5). St. Lawrence Island is made up of a thick section of Paleozoic and Mesozoic carbonate and clastic rocks generally similar to coeval rocks exposed in the Brooks Range of northern Alaska and in the Chukotsk Peninsula of ~Siberia (Patton and Dutro, 1969; Patton and Csejtey, 1970, 1971). The western part of the island contains small areas of coal-bearing Tertiary continental deposits and Cre¬- taceous and Tertiary volcanic rocks. Tertiary(?) and Quaternary basaltic rocks cover the older rocks in central St. Lawrence Island. Permian gabbro and diabase, hypabyssal phases related to some of the volcanic rocks, and Cretaceous monzonitic plutons invaded the older rocks in both the eastern and western parts of the Island. All of the known lodes in the region are on St. Lawrence Island; they include disseminated molybdenite in one of the plutons, a small low-grade porphyry copper deposit with minor molybdenite in a small satellitic stock, and several small sulfide deposits con¬- taining lead, zinc, and silver. None of these occurrences has been thoroughly explored. Anderson (1947, p. 41—42) mentioned a re¬- port of cassiterite near the southwestern end of the island but did not specify whether it was a bedrock or placer occurrence. Recent stream-sediment sampling and reconnaissance geologic mapping in the area failed to find any indication of tin mineraliza¬- tion (oral commun., Bela Csejtey, Jr., Sept., 1970). With the possible exception of the rumored cassiterite, no placer deposits have been reported from the land area of the Bering Sea region. There has been very little prospecting in the region, however, owing in part to its remoteness and in part to governmental restrictions. Recent investigations in the Bering Sea (Nelson and Hopkins, 1969; Nelson and others, 1969) disclosed local concentrations of gold in bottom sediments, in particular between St.. Lawrence Island and the Seward Peninsula. A little native copper of no probable economic interest was found in bottom samples collected near the northwest corner of St. Lawrence Island.
   
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