The southern Alaskan margin offshore the St. Elias Mountains has experienced the highest recorded offshore sediment accumulation rates globally. Combined with high uplift rates, active convergence and extensive temperate glaciation, the margin provides a superb setting for evaluating competing influences of tectonic and surface processes on orogen development. We correlate results from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 341 Sites U1420 and U1421 with regional seismic data to determine the spatial and temporal evolution of the Pamplona Zone fold-thrust belt that forms the offshore St. Elias deformation front on the continental shelf. Our mapping shows that the pattern of active faulting changed from distributed across the shelf to localized away from the primary glacial depocenter over ∼300–780 kyrs, following an order-of-magnitude increase in sediment accumulation rates. Simple Coulomb stress calculations show that the suppression of faulting is partially controlled by the change in sediment accumulation rates which created a differential pore pressure regime between the underlying, faulted strata and the overlying, undeformed sediments.