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Late Miocene to Pliocene vertical-axis rotation attending development of the Silver Peak–Lone Mountain displacement transfer zone, west-central Nevada

By
Michael S Petronis
Michael S Petronis
Environmental Geology, Natural Resource Management Department, Ivan Hilton Science Center, New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, New Mexico 87701, USA
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John W Geissman
John W Geissman
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, MSC 03 2040, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-0001, USA
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John S Oldow
John S Oldow
Department of Geosciences, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75080-3021, USA
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William C McIntosh
William C McIntosh
New Mexico Geochronological Research Laboratory, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico 87801, USA
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Published:
April 01, 2009

Paleomagnetic data from three regionally extensive Oligocene ignimbrite sheets, two sequences of Miocene andesite flows, and ten sequences of Upper Miocene to Pliocene basaltic andesite flows in the Candelaria Hills and adjacent areas, west-central Nevada, provide further evidence that, since the late Miocene, and possibly between latest Miocene and earliest Pliocene time, the broad region that initially facilitated Neogene displacement transfer between the Furnace Creek and central Walker Lane fault systems experienced some 20° to 30° of clockwise vertical-axis rotation. The observed sense and magnitude of rotation are similar to those previously inferred from paleo-magnetic data from different parts of the Silver Peak Range to the south. We propose that clockwise rotation within the transfer zone formed in response to horizontal components of simple and pure shear distributed between early-formed, northwest-striking right-lateral structures that initiated in mid- to late Miocene time. Notably, the spatial distribution of the early-formed transfer zone is larger and centered south of the presently active stepover, which initiated in the late Pliocene and is characterized by a trans-tensional deformation field and slip on east-northeast–oriented left-oblique structures that define the Mina deflection. The sense and magnitude of rotation during this phase of deformation, which we infer to be of pre–latest Pliocene age, are inconsistent with the geodetically determined regional velocity field and seismologically determined strain field for this area. As a consequence, the longer-term kinematic evolution of the stepover system, and the adjoining parts of the Furnace Creek and Walker Lane fault systems, cannot be considered as a steady-state process through the Neogene.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

Late Cenozoic Structure and Evolution of the Great Basin-Sierra Nevada Transition

John S. Oldow
John S. Oldow
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Patricia H. Cashman
Patricia H. Cashman
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Geological Society of America
Volume
447
ISBN print:
9780813724478
Publication date:
April 01, 2009

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