Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination
GEOREF RECORD

Tracking the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone in the northeastern Great Basin, Nevada and Utah

Brian D. Rodriguez and Jackie M. Williams
Tracking the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone in the northeastern Great Basin, Nevada and Utah
Geosphere (Boulder, CO) (April 2008) 4 (2): 315-328

Abstract

It is important to know whether major mining districts in north-central Nevada are underlain by crust of the Archean Wyoming craton, known to contain major orogenic gold deposits or, alternatively, by accreted crust of the Paleoproterozoic Mojave province. Determining the location and orientation of the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone between these provinces is also important because it may influence subsequent patterns of sedimentation, deformation, magmatism, and hydrothermal activity. The suture zone is exposed in northeastern Utah and southwestern Wyoming and exhibits a southwest strike. In the Great Basin, the suture zone strike is poorly constrained because it is largely concealed below a Neoproterozoic-Paleozoic miogeocline and Cenozoic basin fill. Two-dimensional resistivity modeling of three regional north-south magnetotelluric sounding profiles in western Utah, north-central Nevada, and northeastern Nevada, and one east-west profile in northeastern Nevada, reveals a deeply penetrating (>10 km depth), broad (tens of kilometers) conductor (1-20 ohm-meters) that may be the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone, which formed during Early Proterozoic rifting of the continent and subsequent Proterozoic accretion. This major crustal conductor changes strike direction from southwest in Utah to northwest in eastern Nevada, where it broadens to approximately 100 km width that correlates with early Paleozoic rifting of the continent. Our results suggest that the major gold belts may be over-isolated blocks of Archean crust, so Phanerozoic mineral deposits in this region may be produced, at least in part, from recycled Archean gold. Future mineral exploration to the east may yield large gold tonnages.


EISSN: 1553-040X
Serial Title: Geosphere (Boulder, CO)
Serial Volume: 4
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Tracking the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone in the northeastern Great Basin, Nevada and Utah
Affiliation: U. S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO, United States
Pages: 315-328
Published: 200804
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
References: 50
Accession Number: 2008-082502
Categories: Economic geology, geology of ore depositsApplied geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Includes appendices
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch maps
N37°00'00" - N42°00'00", W114°04'60" - W109°04'60"
N35°00'00" - N43°00'00", W120°00'00" - W111°00'00"
N35°00'00" - N42°00'00", W120°00'00" - W114°04'60"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200824
Program Name: USGSOPNon-USGS publications with USGS authors
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal