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Isostatic rebound, active faulting, and potential geomorphic effects in the Lake Lahontan basin, Nevada and California

Kenneth D. Adams, Steven G. Wesnousky and Bruce G. Bills
Isostatic rebound, active faulting, and potential geomorphic effects in the Lake Lahontan basin, Nevada and California
Geological Society of America Bulletin (December 1999) 111 (12): 1739-1756

Abstract

The high shoreline of the late Pleistocene (Sehoo) lake in the Lahontan basin is used as a passive strain marker to delineate the magnitude and character of regional deformation since 13 ka. The elevations of 170 high shoreline sites document that the once horizontal (equipotential) shoreline, which traverses almost 4 degrees of latitude and 3 degrees of longitude, is now deflected vertically about 22 m. Most of the deformation is attributed to isostatic rebound, but a small down-to-the-north regional tilting also appears to contribute to the overall deformation pattern. Active faults locally offset the high shoreline, but cannot explain the regional upwarping attributed to isostatic rebound since 13 ka. Preliminary models of the rebound yield an upper mantle viscosity of 10 (super 18) Pa s that implies a Maxwell relaxation time of about 300 yr. The rapid Earth response, coupled with the rapid fall in lake level at the end of Pleistocene time, may have acted to divert some of the major rivers flowing into the basin from one terminal subbasin to another. The regional deformation caused by the rebound may also have acted to control the present location of Honey Lake. These shoreline data, therefore, support the potential for a link between climate change, deep Earth processes, and surficial processes.


ISSN: 0016-7606
EISSN: 1943-2674
Coden: BUGMAF
Serial Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Serial Volume: 111
Serial Issue: 12
Title: Isostatic rebound, active faulting, and potential geomorphic effects in the Lake Lahontan basin, Nevada and California
Affiliation: University of Nevada, Center for Neotectonic Studies, Reno, NV, United States
Pages: 1739-1756
Published: 199912
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
Accession Number: 1999-070225
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 9991
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table
N35°00'00" - N42°00'00", W120°00'00" - W114°04'60"
N32°30'00" - N42°00'00", W124°30'00" - W114°15'00"
N35°00'00" - N43°00'00", W120°00'00" - W111°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 199924
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