Lauren A. Wright, James K. Otton, Bennie W. Troxel; Turtleback Surfaces of Death Valley Viewed as Phenomena of Extensional Tectonics. Geology ; 2 (2): 53–54. doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/0091-7613(1974)2<53:TSODVV>2.0.CO;2
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The controversial turtleback surfaces of Death Valley may be colossal fault mullions resulting from severe crustal extension which were localized along undulating and northwest-plunging zones of weakness that were in existence prior to this deformation. Supporting evidence includes (1) a coincidence between the surfaces and carbonate layers in folded metamorphic rocks beneath the surfaces, and (2) striations, slickensides, and extensional fractures with orientations compatible with northwest extension.