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Age and depositional setting of siliceous sediments in the upper Paleozoic Havallah sequence near Battle Mountain, Nevada; Implications for the paleogeography and structural evolution of the western margin of North America

Benita L. Murchey
Benita L. Murchey
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January 01, 1990

The upper Paleozoic Havallah sequence of central Nevada is a folded and thrust-faulted association of greenstone, siliceous marine sedimentary rocks, and deep-water clastic rocks. Microfossil assemblages (radiolarians, sponge spicules, and conodonts) are used as tools to unravel the stratigraphy and to interpret the paleoenvironments of the siliceous sedimentary rocks. Nine radiolarian assemblages (Osagean to Guadalupian) are described and used for delineation and correlation of fault-bounded lithotectonic units. The biostratigraphic zonation reveals that the oldest rocks in each lithotectonic unit are progressively younger from the structurally highest to the lowest units, suggesting progressive west-to-east upsection stepping of the Golconda sole thrust with accretion of each unit. Analyses of the radiolarian and sponge spicule faunas permit lateral and temporal comparisons of depositional environments. The lower structural units are coarsening-upward sequences of hemipelagic slope deposits overlain by sponge spicule-rich turbidites derived from a shallow source. The uppermost structural unit is a coarsening-upward basinal sequence. Permian sponge spicules in turbidites of the slope sequences and redeposited fusulinids in the basin sequence are similar to those in adjacent autochthonous (North American) regions. Permian radiolarians and sponge spicules in hemipelagic siliceous argillite of the slope sequences are similar to those in the Northern Sierra terrane to the west; the Havallah basin and the Northern Sierra arc terrane were overlain, therefore, by a similar water mass and may have been in proximity during the Permian. Clastic dikes and sills containing volcanic, metamorphic, and sedimentary rock clasts are Leonardian or younger.

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GSA Special Papers

Paleozoic and Early Mesozoic Paleogeographic Relations; Sierra Nevada, Klamath Mountains, and Related Terranes

David S. Harwood
David S. Harwood
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M. Meghan Miller
M. Meghan Miller
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Geological Society of America
ISBN print:
Publication date:
January 01, 1990



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