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Geology of Paleozoic rocks in eastern Sierra Nevada roof pendants, California

By
Calvin H. Stevens
Calvin H. Stevens
Department of Geology, San Jose State University, San Jose, California 95192 USA,
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David C. Greene
David C. Greene
Department of Geology and Geography, Denison University, Granville, Ohio 43023 USA
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Published:
January 01, 2000

Abstract

Rocks in the major roof pendants of the eastern Sierra Nevada have been mapped in various degrees of detail to better understand their stratigraphy, internal structure, and geologic history, and their relationships to other rock assemblages in the region. Ten formations ranging in age from Middle(?) Cambrian to Middle(?) Permian are recognized in these pendants, which along with other minor pendants, constitute a tectonostratigraphic unit called the Morrison block.

Rocks of the Morrison block were first deformed by north-northwest-trending thrust faults and footwall syn-clines involving strata as young as Early or Middle Permian. We designate this event, which correlates with a similar pre-middle Early Triassic event recognized in rocks near Tinemaha Reservoir, the Morrison orogeny. Structures produced during this orogeny include a probable cryptic thrust fault separating rocks assigned to the Morrison block from those in the Big Pine Creek pendant, which may belong to the White-Inyo block, and the Nevahbe thrust, which separates lower from upper Paleozoic rocks in the eastern part of the Mount Morrison pendant and may separate the Pine Creek and Bishop Creek pendants. In the Mount Morrison pendant structures produced during the Morrison orogeny apparently were later refolded twice prior to sinistral displacement on the Laurel-Convict fault, which cross-cuts older structures and is intruded by a pre-latest Late Triassic dike.

Other thrust faults in the eastern Sierra Nevada include the Golconda thrust of early Middle Triassic age and the Lundy Canyon thrust of Late Triassic age. The Golconda thrust system apparently overprints the Roberts Mountains thrust and separates rocks of the Morrison block from those of the Golconda and Roberts Mountains allochthons in the Saddlebag Lake pendant, and perhaps from those of the Roberts Mountains allochthon in the Northern Ritter Range and Log Cabin Mine pendants.

After thrust-faulting, but prior to intrusion of the Late Triassic Wheeler Crest Granodiorite, dextral movement on the Tinemaha fault displaced Paleozoic facies and structural belts in the Sierra Nevada northward, producing most of the present complicated paleogeographic patterns apparent in the region. Other less important structures, such as the Laurel-Convict fault, have further complicated the geology of the Morrison block.

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GSA Field Guide

Great Basin and Sierra Nevada

David R. Lageson
David R. Lageson
Department of Earth Sciences Montana State University Bozeman, MT 59717 USA
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Stephen G. Peters
Stephen G. Peters
Reno Field Office Mackay School of Mines, MS-176 University of Nevada Reno, Nevada 89557-0047 USA
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Mary M. Lahren
Mary M. Lahren
Department of Geological Sciences MS-l72 University of Nevada Reno, Nevada 89557 USA 2000
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Geological Society of America
Volume
2
ISBN electronic:
9780813756028
Publication date:
January 01, 2000

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