Detachment faults on the west flank of the Black Mountains (Nevada and California) dip 29°–36° and cut subhorizontal layers of the 0.77 Ma Bishop ash. Steeply dipping normal faults confined to the hanging walls of the detachments offset layers of the 0.64 Ma Lava Creek B tephra and the base of 0.12–0.18 Ma Lake Manly gravel. These faults sole into and do not cut the low-angle detachments. Therefore the detachments accrued any measurable slip across the kinematically linked hanging-wall faults. An analysis of the orientations of hundreds of the hanging-wall faults shows that extension occurred at modest slip rates (<1 mm/yr) under a steep to vertically oriented maximum principal stress. The Black Mountain detachments are appropriately described as the basal detachments of near-critical Coulomb wedges. We infer that the formation of late Pleistocene and Holocene range-front fault scarps accompanied seismogenic slip on the detachments.

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