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High-temperature, volcanic-centre-related hydrothermal systems involve large fluid-flow volumes and are observed to have high discharge rates in the order of 100–400 kg/s. The flows and discharge occur predominantly on networks of critically stressed fractures. The coupling of hydrothermal fluid flow with deformation produces the volumes of veins found in epithermal mineral deposits. Owing to this coupling, veins provide information on the fault–fracture architecture in existence at the time of mineralization. They therefore provide information on the nature of deformation within fault zones, and the relations between different fault sets. The Virginia City and Goldfield mining districts, Nevada, were localized in zones of strike-slip transtension in an Early to Mid-Miocene volcanic belt along the western margin of North America. The Camp Douglas mining area occurs within the same belt, but is localized in a zone of strike-slip transpression. The vein systems in these districts record the spatial evolution of strike-slip extensional and contractional stepovers, as well as geometry of faulting in and adjacent to points along strike-slip faults where displacement has been interrupted and transferred into releasing and restraining stepovers.

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