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Recurrent Quaternary normal faulting at Major Creek, Colorado: An example of youthful tectonism on the eastern boundary of the Rio Grande Rift Zone

James P. McCalpin
James P. McCalpin
Department of Geology, Utah State University
Logan, Utah 84322
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January 01, 1987


A well-preserved fault scarp resulting from recurrent Quarternary normal faulting occurs at the western edge of the northern Sangre de Cristo Mountains of south-central Colorado, at the mouth of west-draining Major Creek (Fig. 1). The site is approximately 56 mi (90 km) north-northeast of Alamosa, Colorado, and may be approached from Colorado 17 between Alamosa and Poncha Springs, Colorado. Turn east off of Colorado 17, 50 mi (80 km) north of Alamosa, opposite the junction with U.S. 285, onto a dirt road that leads due east for 6 mi (10 km) across the valley floor toward Valley View Hot Springs. Instead of turning off to the hot springs, bear right and follow the road as it turns south to parallel the range front. The road will continue south past the mouth of Garner Creek [1 mi (1.7 km) south of the hot springs turnoff] to the upper part of the Major Creek alluvial fan [2 mi (3.2 km) south of the hot springs turnoff]. Approximately 0.25 mi (400 m) north of the crossing of Major Creek (Fig. 2) turn onto a dirt driveway leading due east to the head of the fan where the fault scarps occur. Entry through the locked gate will require permission from the landowner on the north side of the fanhead, Dr. Ben Eismann, Dept. of Surgery, University of Colorado Health Science Center, Denver, CO 80262. The fault scarps on the south side of the road (including the 1980 trench site, Profile 35 on Fig.

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DNAG, Centennial Field Guides

Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America

Stanley S. Beus
Stanley S. Beus
Department of Geology Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
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Geological Society of America
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Publication date:
January 01, 1987




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