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Late Miocene to Pliocene synextensional deposition in fault-bounded basins within the upper plate of the western Silver Peak–Lone Mountain extensional complex, west-central Nevada

By
John S Oldow
John S Oldow
Department of Geoscience, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75080-3021, USA
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Elizabeth A Elias
Elizabeth A Elias
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83844-3022, USA
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Luigi Ferranti
Luigi Ferranti
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Napoli Federico II, 80138 Napoli, Italy
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William C McClelland
William C McClelland
Department of Geosciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, 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

The late Miocene to Pliocene Silver Peak–Lone Mountain extensional complex in the western Great Basin is part of a structural stepover that links dextral transcurrent motion between the Furnace Creek fault system and northwest-striking transcurrent faults in the central Walker Lane. In the Silver Peak Range, the extensional complex is exposed as a west-northwest–trending turtleback structure that consists of a folded detachment fault separating a metamorphic lower-plate assemblage from unmetamorphosed upper-plate rocks. The upper plate preserves structurally attenuated lower Paleozoic carbonate and clastic rocks, upper Oligocene to lower Miocene volcanic rocks, and a synextensional mid-Miocene to Pliocene clastic and volcanic succession. The three-dimensional geometry of fault-bounded extensional basins formed during displacement on the detachment is preserved, and the synextensional units comprise five sequences separated by unconformities. The locus of deposition migrated spatially as dimensions of small basins changed through time. The entire extensional complex is deformed in two generations of late Cenozoic folds. North-northeast–trending folds formed first with axial traces oriented at a high-angle to upper-plate extension, and these are preferentially developed in proximity to thrusts and partially inverted extensional faults. Younger, west-northwest–trending folds parallel the axis of the turtleback structure and involve all lithologic units, several syndepositional high-angle faults, and the basal detachment. Pliocene growth of west-northwest–trending folds marked the end of slip on the exposed parts of the basal décollement and the cessation of deposition in the fault-bounded basins. Today, upper and lower plates of the extensional complex are dissected by north- to northeast-striking normal faults that cut alluvium and cross-cut and locally reactivate earlier Cenozoic structures.

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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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