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Book Chapter

Nevada Test Site and Yucca Mountain

January 01, 2000


The Nevada Test Site (NTS), in southern Nye County, Nevada, straddles significant pre-Tertiary structural and stratigraphic boundaries. Detailed stratigraphy and biostratigraphy of the Upper Paleozoic section delineates the regional thrust sheets and constrains their burial histories. The Paleozoic rocks record three phases of contractional deformation, overprinted by strike-slip faulting. These occurred in the following order: (1) foreland-vergent folding and imbricate thrusting in the footwall of the Belted Range thrust; (2) hinterland-vergent folding and thrusting; and (3) north-vergent folding that we interpret as footwall deformation below a third major thrust system. Sinistral slip, typically accompanied by minor east-west shortening, has occurred along a series of north-northeast-north-northwest-striking faults around Yucca Flat. This strike-slip faulting postdates both foreland-vergent and hinterland-vergent deformation, and predates the Cretaceous Climax stock; its age relative to the north-vergent folding and thrusting is unknown. Our new understanding of the geometry of these structures provides new insights into the correlation and interpretation of regional structural features. Field trip stops will examine: (1) the stratigraphic dif-ferences that allow us to distinguish the regional thrust sheets and constrain their burial histories; and (2) the field relationships that document the kinematics and relative ages of the penetrative deformational events.

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Figures & Tables


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
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2000




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