Abstract

A common association of thin, late Holocene Mono and Inyo crater tephra beds buried by debris flows within a 250-km-long corridor of western Nevada suggests that there has been at times a genetic link between these two otherwise independent processes. The unambiguous depositional relations and the undisturbed character of the tephra beds at more than 20 sites indicate that tephra deposition was often followed by burial under debris flows produced by intense precipitation. Considering that average return periods are hundreds of years for such storms, it is highly improbable that this stratigraphic association is random coincidence. We propose that the most plausible explanation for this association is that some Plinian ash columns produced intense thunderstorms, resulting in large debris flows that buried the tephra beds.

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