The late Cenozoic Badwater Turtleback fault separates an upper plate of volcanic and sedimentary rocks from a lower plate of predominantly mylonitic plutonic and metamorphic rocks. The Turtleback fault, however, is not a single continuous surface, but consists of at least three generations of faults. These faults occur as discrete, crosscutting segments that progressively decrease in age and increase in dip to the west. Therefore, they probably began at moderate to steep angles but rotated to lower angles with extensional strain. If so, lower plate mylonitic rocks also restore to steeper dips and suggest that transport of the upper plate occurred on moderate to steeply dipping surfaces in the middle and upper crust. The crosscutting nature of the fault segments and their initial moderate to steep dips, plus a possible offset marker on one of the segments, are most consistent with moderate amounts of extension in the Death Valley region.

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