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A Field Trip Overview to Low-Angle Faults and Associated Mineralization

William A. Rehrig
William A. Rehrig
Applied Geologic Studies, Inc.
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January 01, 1996


The Cordillera of western North America may succinctly be described as an accreted continental margin consisting of obducted and stacked oceanic and miogeoclinal plates (Late Precambrian to Mesozoic), which has been overprinted by extraordinary Tertiary extension, particularly in middle North American. Both compressional and extensional processes have utilized gently dipping (low-angle) structural features, which include thrust faults, detachment faults, and rotated or listric normal faults. The thrusts commonly are mylonitic, indicating ductile shear at some depth. The detachments are marked by mylonitic and later brecciated footwall fabrics, suggesting deep and shallow deformation.

Such low-angle zones of shear, while not unique to the southwestern United States, are especially well exposed there. On this field trip we will have the pleasure of viewing key outcrops over a broad region of southern Nevada and western Arizona. These exposures are particularly instructive not only as examples of unique tectonic processes, but also with regard to mineral deposits hosted by such low-angle faults.

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Figures & Tables


Society of Economic Geologists Guidebook Series

Tertiary Extension and Mineral Deposits, Southwestern U.S.

William A. Rehrig
William A. Rehrig
I. Low-Angle Tectonic Features of the Southwestern United States and Their Influence on Mineral Resources
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James J. Hardy
James J. Hardy
II. Dismemberment of Porphyry Copper Mineralization in the Rosemont-Helvetia District, Arizona
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Society of Economic Geologists
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Publication date:
January 01, 1996




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