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Abstract

The Lower Cretaceous Fortress Mountain Formation occupies a spatial and temporal niche between syntectonic deposits at the Brooks Range orogenic front and post-tectonic strata in the Colville foreland basin. The formation includes basin-floor fan, marine-slope and fan-delta facies that define a clinoform depositional profile. Texture and composition of clasts in the formation suggest progressive burial of a tectonic wedge-front that included older turbidites and mélange. These new interpretations, based entirely on outcrop study, suggest that the Fortress Mountain Formation spans the boundary between orogenic wedge and foredeep, with proximal strata onlapping the tectonic wedge-front and distal strata downlapping the floor of the foreland basin. Our reconstruction suggests that clinoform amplitude reflects the structural relief generated by tectonic wedge development and load-induced flexural subsidence of the foreland basin.