The Delta is an unusual river, in that it bisects a huge mountain range, the Alaska Range. Typically, streams flow out from such a range in one direction or another; they don't flow across such a range. The explanation for this behavior of the Nenana (and the Nenana, to the East--both of these flow North to a confluence with the Tanana) may be that huge glacier flow and recession cut a valley into the range. See this article in Far North Science.com.
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