Skip to Main Content
GEOREF RECORD

Low-temperature thermochronology of the Black and Panamint Mountains, Death Valley, California; implications for geodynamic controls on Cenozoic intraplate strain

Tandis S. Bidgoli, Erika Amir, J. Douglas Walker, Daniel F. Stockli, Joseph E. Andrew and S. John Caskey
Low-temperature thermochronology of the Black and Panamint Mountains, Death Valley, California; implications for geodynamic controls on Cenozoic intraplate strain
Lithosphere (August 2015) 7 (4): 473-480

Abstract

We use apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He thermochronometry to evaluate space-time patterns and tectonic drivers of Miocene to Pliocene deformation within the Death Valley area, eastern California. Zircon He ages from the footwall of the Amargosa-Black Mountains detachment in the Black Mountains record continuous cooling and exhumation from 9 to 3 Ma. Thermal modeling of data from the central Black Mountains suggests that this cooling took place during two intervals: a period of rapid footwall exhumation from 10 to 6 Ma, followed by slower (<5 mm/yr) exhumation since 6 Ma. Cumulative exhumation is estimated to be 10-16 km. Paleodepth reconstruction of cooling ages from the footwall of the Panamint-Emigrant detachment, in the central Panamint Range, also show two periods of cooling. Zircons record late Miocene cooling, whereas apatite He ages show punctuated exhumation at ca. 4 Ma. The results suggest the Panamint Range experienced a minimum of 7.2 km of exhumation since ca. 12 Ma. The new data, when evaluated within the context of published fault timing data, suggest that the transition from Basin and Range extension to dextral transtension is spatially and temporally distinct, beginning at ca. 11-8 Ma in ranges to the east and north of the Black Mountains and migrating westward into eastern Death Valley at 6 Ma. Initiation of dextral transtension was coincident with a major change in plate-boundary relative motion vectors. Data from Panamint Range and several ranges to the west of Death Valley indicate transtension initiated over a large area at ca. 3-4 Ma, coeval with proposed lithospheric delamination in the central and southern Sierra Nevada Range. Our results suggest that the transition from extension to dextral transtension may reflect an evolution in tectonic drivers, from plate-boundary kinematics to intraplate lithospheric delamination.


ISSN: 1941-8264
EISSN: 1947-4253
Serial Title: Lithosphere
Serial Volume: 7
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Low-temperature thermochronology of the Black and Panamint Mountains, Death Valley, California; implications for geodynamic controls on Cenozoic intraplate strain
Affiliation: University of Kansas, Department of Geology, Lawrence, KS, United States
Pages: 473-480
Published: 201508
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
References: 58
Accession Number: 2015-079074
Categories: Structural geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., geol. sketch map
N35°30'00" - N37°30'00", W118°04'60" - W115°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: San Francisco State University, USA, United StatesUniversity of Texas, Austin, USA, United States
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: 201534
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal