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Abstract

This field trip is designed to give its participants and readers of the guidebook a regional crustal perspective of the geometries and exploration insight into mineral deposits within highly extended terranes. This trip focuses on a traverse from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Parker, Arizona, as a guide to demonstrate many of the primary structural features involved in these extensional terranes and their interrelationships to each other. By beginning in the highest crustal levels exposed near Las Vegas and descending structurally down into the crust toward the deep crustal exposures in the Whipple Mountains, this field trip route effectively descends along the structural features from their highest crustal exposures to their deepest exposures. The enormity of the terrane and its linked character in both structure and geochemistry is highlighted by this approach. The features within the Colorado River extensional terrane are profoundly interesting in and of themselves, but the primary benefit of this trip and field guide will be to people studying similar crustal extensional geometries in other areas. Because fluid flow is so strongly controlled by the structural geometries, exploration for minerals and oil and gas can be very significantly aided by considering the structural geometries described in this trip.

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