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Geologic Map
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Generalized Geologic Map of the Conterminous United States
North America Shaded Relief


  The North American Tapestry of Time and Terrain

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Mount Denali


close up of mount denali in the Alaska Range

"Denali" is an Athabascan word meaning "High One," and at 6100m (20, 320 feet), Mount Denali, also called Mount McKinley, is the tallest mountain in North America. Denali actually has two peaks, the lower of which is the second highest peak on the continent. Denali is part of the Alaska Range, a series of mountains formed from the interaction of the Pacific and North American plates. These mountains tend to have granitic cores, though some are made up of Jurassic and Cretaceous sedimentary rocks such as shale and mudstone. The granite intruded into some of these mountains, such as Denali, during the Mesozoic. The Denali Fault is nearby, running just north of Mount Denali; some scientists believe that Denali's great height is the result of the fault bending and thickening the crust. Denali is located in the Denali National Park and Preserve, which covers more area than the entire state of Massachusetts.