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Turtleback faults of Death Valley, California; a reinterpretation

Harald Dietrich Drewes
Turtleback faults of Death Valley, California; a reinterpretation
Bulletin of the Geological Society of America (December 1959) 70 (12, Part 1): 1497-1508


Turtlebacks are smooth, curved surfaces, which form N-northwestward-plunging elongate domes on the E side of Death Valley. These surfaces are roughly parallel to bedding or foliation of anticlines in Precambrian schist, gneiss, and marble. Late Cenozoic fan and playa deposits are faulted over the surfaces along the turtleback faults. Previously the turtleback faults have been interpreted as part of a thrust fault, perhaps the Amargosa thrust fault, that was arched after thrusting. They are interpreted here as individual normal faults younger than the thrust fault and, contrary to previous interpretations, much younger than the formation of the anticlines in the Precambrian rocks. The tectonic history of this unusual area is here considered to include the following events: 1) Precambrian folding of the Precambrian rocks: 2) post Paleozoic and pre-middle(?) Tertiary Amargosa thrusting; 3) uplift and erosion of Paleozoic strata and the Amargosa thrust fault, down to the folded Precambrian rocks in the Black Mountains block; 4) middle(?) Tertiary rhyolite extrusions and the accumulation of later Tertiary fan and playa deposits; 5) Pliocene or Pleistocene uplift of the Black Mountains relative to Death Valley, along the Black Mountains fault system, with consequent removal of support for the Tertiary deposits on the turtleback surfaces, and the development of the turtleback faults by normal faulting, or sliding, of the Tertiary sedimentary rocks down the turtleback surfaces toward Death Valley; and, 6) Pleistocene to Recent renewal of movement on the Black Mountains fault system.

ISSN: 1050-9747
Serial Title: Bulletin of the Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 70
Serial Issue: 12, Part 1
Title: Turtleback faults of Death Valley, California; a reinterpretation
Pages: 1497-1508
Published: 195912
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
Accession Number: 1959-008256
Categories: Areal geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. maps
N32°30'00" - N42°00'00", W124°30'00" - W114°15'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Bibliography and Index of North American Geology, U. S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, United States
Update Code: 1959
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