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The Furnace Creek Basin is a northwest-southeast oriented structural trough, bordered to the northeast by the Furnace Creek fault zone (FCFZ), which separates the basin from the Funeral Mountains, and to the southwest by the Green water Range and the Grand View fault, which borders the Black Mountains (Figure1). Subsidence of the Furnace Creek Basin was controlled by movement on the pre-existing dextral strike-slip FCFZ beginning in the Miocene, coincident with regional extension (Cemen et al., 1985). The Centra lDeath Valley basin is a pull-apart basin with the form of an east-tilting half-graben (Ellis and Trexler,1991) formed largely by dip-slip movement along the Death Valley fault zone concurrent with northwest textension starting in the Miocene (Christie-Blick and Biddle, 1985; Cemen and Wright, 1994; Wright, 1994).

Tertiary strata of these two basins comprise three formations: the Miocene Artist Drive Formation, Miocene-Pliocene Furnace Creek Formation (FCF),and the Pliocene Funeral Formation (Figure 2). TheArtist Drive Formation is an assemblage of variegated conglomerates, sandstones, and minor siltstones and claystones with a total thickness of 1300 m (McAllister,1970; Cemen et al., 1985; Cemen and Wright,1988). Up to 2100 m of FCF conglomerates, basalt flows and breccias, sandstones, mudstones, clay stones, marls, and borates unconformably overlie the Artist Drive Formation. Dates of 7.5 Ma for tuff in the upper Artist Drive Formation (Cemen and Wright,1988) and 4.03 0.12 Ma for a basalt flow in the overlying Funeral Formation (Cemen et al., 1985) partiallyconstrain the age of the FCF, which spans the Miocene Plioceneboundary established by the

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