Abstract

It is possible to explain the shape of the remarkable dike pattern surrounding the Spanish Peaks, Colorado, by an analysis of stresses if a regional-stress system in which the direction of greatest principal pressure was parallel to the line of symmetry exhibited by the dike pattern superposed on a local-stress system is assumed. This local-stress system is caused by hydrostatic pressure exerted by the intrusive mass of the Spanish Peaks. For simplification of the computations a circular hole is assumed at the position of West Spanish Peak.

The mountain front west of the Spanish Peaks provides an unknown boundary condition, which however can be described with satisfactory results by the assumption of an image source. On the basis of the assumption that the relation between stress field and dike pattern is the one proposed by Anderson (1951, Chap. 3) it is then possible to compute the dike pattern. This computed dike pattern agrees in many respects with the observed dike pattern.

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