In the hypothesis presented here, the Panamint Range is a structural block that was detached during late Cenozoic time from underlying rocks that now form the Black Mountains and was transported tectonically an estimated 80 km to the northwest. Transport occurred along a single low-angle westward-dipping detachment fault, or perhaps along a system of such faults. The estimate of 80 km of transport distance is based on the apparent right-lateral offset of late Precambrian and Paleozoic facies and thickness trends along the Furnace Creek fault zone that bounds the detached block on the northeast. The Death Valley turtleback surfaces are considered to be gigantic mullions related to the detachment surface.

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