Abstract

Newly released and previously published seismic reflection data from the northern Sevier Desert basin provide a complete seismic transect between the tilted western margin of the basin and the eastern breakaway zone. When tied to well and surface age data, the transect delineates a continuum of extensional fault and basin fill geometries that developed between late Oligocene and Pleistocene time across the basin. A minimum of 18 km of top-to-the-west normal displacement is estimated across the Sevier Desert from only the most conspicuous growth geometries and offsets across listric normal faults that sole downward into the Sevier Desert reflection (SDR). The SDR clearly marks a normal fault zone beneath the entire basin, where stratal truncations are imaged for 50% of the 39 km length of the reflection east of the Cricket Mountains block. Restoration of extensional displacement along this entire 39 km fault length is necessary to reconstruct the pre-Oligocene configuration and erosion level of Sevier thrust sheets across the Sevier Desert area. The SDR normal fault zone underlies the former topographic crest of the Sevier orogenic belt, where it accommodated extensional collapse after cessation of regional contractile tectonism.

You do not currently have access to this article.