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The Bonanza King Formation forms imposing mountainside exposures in several tilted fault block ranges in the southern Great Basin of Nevada and eastern California (Fig. 1). The shallow-marine carbonates that characterize the Bonanza King were deposited during the early drift phase of development of the Cordilleran passive margin, which originated in response to breakup of a Late Proterozoic supercontinent around 600 to 550 Ma (Stewart and Suczek, 1977; Bond and others, 1984; Levy and Christie-Blick, 1991). The broad continental margin was oriented essentially east-west within tropical latitudes (10 to 15° N; Scotese and McKerrow, 1990), conducive for the development of thick accumulations of carbonates.

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