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Title: Palinspastic reconstruction of Lower Mesozoic stratigraphic sequences near the latitude of Las Vegas: Implications for the entire Great Basin

Abstract

On the Colorado Plateau, lower Mesozoic stratigraphy is subdivided by regional unconformities into the Lower Triassic Moenkopi, Upper Triassic Chinle, Lower and Middle( ) Jurassic Glen Canyon, and Middle Jurassic lower San Rafael tectonosequences. Palinspastic reconstruction for Cenozoic extensional and mesozoic compressional deformations near the latitude of Las Vegas indicates the Moenkopi tectono-sequence constructed a passive-margin-like architecture of modest width overlapping folded. Thrust-faulted, and intruded Permian strata, with state boundaries fixed relative to the Colorado Plateau, comparison of the location of the Early Triassic shelf-slope break near latitude 36[degree] with the palinspastically restored location of the shelf-slope break in southeastern Idaho implies strata of the Moenkopi tectonosequence in the Mesozoic marine province of northwest NV lay in western utah in the Early Triassic. This reconstruction: suggests that the Galconda and Last Chance faults are part of the same thrust system; aligns late Carnian paleovalleys of the chinle tectonosequence on the Colorado Plateau with a coeval northwest-trending paleovalley cut across the Star Pea, and the Norian Cottonwood paleovalley with the coeval Grass Valley delta; defines a narrow, northward deepening back-arc basin in which the Glen Canyon tectonosequence was deposited; aligns east-facing half grabens along the back side of the arc frommore » the Cowhole Mountains to the Clan Alpine Range; projects the volcan-arc/back-arc transition from northwest Arizona to the east side of the Idaho batholith; and predicts the abrupt facies change from silicic volcanics to marine strata of the lower San Rafael sequence lay in western Utah. The paleogeographic was altered in the late Bathonian to Callovian by back-arc extension north of a line extending from Cedar City, UT to Mina, NV. The palinspastic reconstruction implies the Paleozoic was tectonically stacked at the close of the Paleozoic.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. (Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale, IL (United States). Dept. of Geology)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5022941
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 5022941
Report Number(s):
CONF-9305259--
Journal ID: ISSN 0016-7592; CODEN: GAAPBC
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs; (United States); Journal Volume: 25:5; Conference: 89. annual meeting of the Cordilleran Section and the 46th annual meeting of the Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America (GSA), Reno, NV (United States), 19-21 May 1993
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; GEOLOGIC FORMATIONS; STRATIGRAPHY; GREAT BASIN; GEOLOGIC HISTORY; TECTONICS; COMPRESSION; DEFORMATION; GEOLOGIC FAULTS; GEOLOGIC STRATA; MESOZOIC ERA; DEVELOPED COUNTRIES; GEOLOGIC AGES; GEOLOGIC FRACTURES; GEOLOGIC STRUCTURES; GEOLOGY; NORTH AMERICA; USA 580000* -- Geosciences

Citation Formats

Marzolf, J.E. Palinspastic reconstruction of Lower Mesozoic stratigraphic sequences near the latitude of Las Vegas: Implications for the entire Great Basin. United States: N. p., 1993. Web.
Marzolf, J.E. Palinspastic reconstruction of Lower Mesozoic stratigraphic sequences near the latitude of Las Vegas: Implications for the entire Great Basin. United States.
Marzolf, J.E. Thu . "Palinspastic reconstruction of Lower Mesozoic stratigraphic sequences near the latitude of Las Vegas: Implications for the entire Great Basin". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_5022941,
title = {Palinspastic reconstruction of Lower Mesozoic stratigraphic sequences near the latitude of Las Vegas: Implications for the entire Great Basin},
author = {Marzolf, J.E.},
abstractNote = {On the Colorado Plateau, lower Mesozoic stratigraphy is subdivided by regional unconformities into the Lower Triassic Moenkopi, Upper Triassic Chinle, Lower and Middle( ) Jurassic Glen Canyon, and Middle Jurassic lower San Rafael tectonosequences. Palinspastic reconstruction for Cenozoic extensional and mesozoic compressional deformations near the latitude of Las Vegas indicates the Moenkopi tectono-sequence constructed a passive-margin-like architecture of modest width overlapping folded. Thrust-faulted, and intruded Permian strata, with state boundaries fixed relative to the Colorado Plateau, comparison of the location of the Early Triassic shelf-slope break near latitude 36[degree] with the palinspastically restored location of the shelf-slope break in southeastern Idaho implies strata of the Moenkopi tectonosequence in the Mesozoic marine province of northwest NV lay in western utah in the Early Triassic. This reconstruction: suggests that the Galconda and Last Chance faults are part of the same thrust system; aligns late Carnian paleovalleys of the chinle tectonosequence on the Colorado Plateau with a coeval northwest-trending paleovalley cut across the Star Pea, and the Norian Cottonwood paleovalley with the coeval Grass Valley delta; defines a narrow, northward deepening back-arc basin in which the Glen Canyon tectonosequence was deposited; aligns east-facing half grabens along the back side of the arc from the Cowhole Mountains to the Clan Alpine Range; projects the volcan-arc/back-arc transition from northwest Arizona to the east side of the Idaho batholith; and predicts the abrupt facies change from silicic volcanics to marine strata of the lower San Rafael sequence lay in western Utah. The paleogeographic was altered in the late Bathonian to Callovian by back-arc extension north of a line extending from Cedar City, UT to Mina, NV. The palinspastic reconstruction implies the Paleozoic was tectonically stacked at the close of the Paleozoic.},
doi = {},
journal = {Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 25:5,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Apr 01 00:00:00 EST 1993},
month = {Thu Apr 01 00:00:00 EST 1993}
}

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  • The Great Basin of the western United States has proven important for studies of Proterozoic and Paleozoic geology and has been central to the development of ideas about the mechanics of crustal shortening and extension. An understanding of the deformational history of this region during Mesozoic and Cenozoic time is required for palinspastic reconstruction of now isolated exposures of older geology in order to place these in an appropriate regional geographic context. A new reconstruction is developed for rocks of middle Proterozoic to Early Cambrian age based on evidence that total shortening by generally east-vergent thrusts and folds was atmore » least 104 to 135 kilometers and that the Great Basin as a whole accommodated {approximately}250 kilometers of extension in the direction 287{degree} {plus_minus} 12{degree} between the Colorado Plateau and the Sierra Nevada. Extension is assumed to be equivalent at all latitudes because available paleomagnetic evidence suggests that the Sierra Nevada experienced little or no rotation with respect to the extension direction since the late Mesozoic. An estimate of the uncertainty in the amount of extension obtained from geological and paleomagnetic uncertainties increases northward from {plus_minus}56 kilometers at 36{degree}30{prime}N to {sup +108}{sub {minus}87} kilometers at 40{degree}N. On the basis of the reconstruction, the original width of the preserved part of the late Proterozoic and Early Cambrian basin was about 150 to 300 kilometers, about 60 percent of the present width, and the basin was oriented slightly more north-south with respect to present-day coordinates.« less
  • Detailed stratigraphic sections through Upper Ordovician-Lower Silurian shelf strata of the Eastern Great Basin were measured in two Utah localities, Barn Hills (Confusion Range) and Lakeside Mountains. Six major subfacies occur in these strata: mud-cracked and crinkly laminated subfacies, Laminated mudstone subfacies, cross-bedded grainstone subfacies, cross-laminated packstone subfacies, grainy bioturbated subfacies, muddy bioturbated subfacies, and thalassinoides burrowed subfacies. These occur in 1--10 m thick cycles in three facies: muddy cyclic laminite facies (tidal flats), cross-bedded facies (subtidal shoals), and bioturbated facies (moderate to low-energy shelf). The vertical facies succession, stacking patterns of meter-scale cycles, and exposure surfaces define correlatable sequences.more » The authors recognize four Upper Ordovician sequences (Mayvillian to Richmondian). An uppermost Ordovician (Hirnantian) sequence is missing in these sections but occurs basinward. Lower Silurian sequences are of early Llandoverian (A), middle Llandoverian (B), early late Llandoverian (C1--C3), late late Llandoverian (C4--C5), latest Llandoverian (C6) to early Wenlock age. In general, Upper Ordovician and latest Llandoverian-Wenlockian facies are muddier than intervening Llandoverian facies. The shift to muddier shelf facies in latest Llandoverian probably corresponds to the development of a rimmed shelf. The sequence framework improves correlation of these strata by combining sedimentologic patterns with the biostratigraphic data. For example, in the Lakesides, the Ordovician-Silurian boundary is shifted 37 m downward from recent suggestions. In addition, the sequence approach highlights intervals for which additional biostratigraphic information is needed.« less
  • Most previous outcrop and subsurfaces studies of the Lower Cretaceous conglomerates and conglomeratic sandstones in Wyoming have assumed a time equivalency for these deposits. The conglomerates have been utilized to identify the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary and interpret tectonic conditions within the Sevier foreland basin. However, the authors integrated subsurface-outcrop correlations show that the conglomerates occur at distinctly different stratigraphic levels, thus invalidating their use in marking the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary and complicating interpretations of their tectonic significance. A chert-bearing conglomerate occurs at the base of the Cloverly Formation over the entire western flank of the Wind River basin except within a 30more » km Cloverly outcrop belt near Lander. The zero edge of this unit lies just east of Muskrat field where it may be a facies equivalent with what has previously been interpreted as the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation. In contrast, in the eastern quarter of the Wind River basin, a thick chert-bearing conglomerate occurs in the upper part of the Cloverly Formation. This conglomerate may be the time-stratigraphic equivalent to the transitional marine 'Rusty beds' present in the western margin of the basin. In both areas, the conglomerates and conglomeratic sandstones are encased in thick mudstones. Paleocurrent data suggest different source areas for the eastern and western conglomerates. The basal conglomerate was derived from the southwest, whereas the younger, eastern conglomerate was derived from the south. Their areal distributions have been useful in suggesting areas of potential structural-stratigraphic hydrocarbon plays.« less
  • Mesozoic and Tertiary granite rocks in and adjacent to the northern Great Basin (NGB) in Nevada and Utah display a wide range of initial /sup 143/Nd//sup 144/Nd (epsilon/sub Nd/) and /sup 87/Sr//sup 86/Sr (epsilon/sub Sr/) values which vary regularly with geographic position. From the Klamath Mountains inland 500 km to central Nevada, granite epsilon/sub Nd/ values decrease regularly from +8 to -6 and correlate with epsilon/sub Sr/ values that increase from -20 to +60. In east-central Nevada, near the trace of the Roberts Mountains Thrust (RMT), the epsilon/sub Nd/ values decrease from -6 to an average of -18, while epsilon/submore » Sr/ becomes highly variable with values generally greater than +100. These isotopic discontinuities correspond to the west-to-east facies transition from pelagic clastic sedimentary rocks to shelf carbonates and to the shift in the dominant granite bulk composition from metaluminous to peraluminous. In the eastermost NGB a second discontinuity in epsilon/sub Sr/ occurs with values dropping to approx.+60; average epsilon/sub Nd/ remains at -18. Combined with known aspects of NGB geology the isotopic data suggest that west of the RMT, granites formed via interaction of magma derived from a LREE-depleted pelagic sedimentary rock. Variations in /sup 87/Rb//sup 86/Sr with Sr, and /sup 147/Sm//sup 144/Nd with epsilon/sub Nd/, indicate that crystal fractionation accompanied assimilation, but that plagioclase was not an important fractioning phase. East of the RMT, granites appear to be primarily derived fom precambrian continental basement with little mantle input. The isotopic discontinuities near the RMT mark the western edge of precambrian basement and occur 100-200 km east of the 87Sr/86Sr ( = 0.7060) line of Kistleer and Peterman (1973). The epsilon/sub Nd/ discontinuity in the eastern NGB marks a boundary between Rb- depleted (granulite.) lower continental crust to the east, and basement that has no 'depleted' lower crust to the west.« less
  • As part of early design studies for the potential Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, the authors have performed a preliminary probabilistic seismic hazard analysis of ground shaking. A total of 88 Quaternary faults within 100 km of the site were considered in the hazard analysis. They were characterized in terms of their probability o being seismogenic, and their geometry, maximum earthquake magnitude, recurrence model, and slip rate. Individual faults were characterized by maximum earthquakes that ranged from moment magnitude (M{sub w}) 5.1 to 7.6. Fault slip rates ranged from a very low 0.00001 mm/yr to as much as 4 mm/yr.more » An areal source zone representing background earthquakes up to M{sub w} 6 1/4 = 1/4 was also included in the analysis. Recurrence for these background events was based on the 1904--1994 historical record, which contains events up to M{sub w} 5.6. Based on this analysis, the peak horizontal rock accelerations are 0.16, 0.21, 0.28, and 0.50 g for return periods of 500, 1,000, 2,000, and 10,000 years, respectively. In general, the dominant contributor to the ground shaking hazard at Yucca Mountain are background earthquakes because of the low slip rates of the Basin and Range faults. A significant effect on the probabilistic ground motions is due to the inclusion of a new attenuation relation developed specifically for earthquakes in extensional tectonic regimes. This relation gives significantly lower peak accelerations than five other predominantly California-based relations used in the analysis, possibly due to the lower stress drops of extensional earthquakes compared to California events. Because Las Vegas is located within the same tectonic regime as Yucca Mountain, the seismic sources and path and site factors affecting the seismic hazard at Yucca Mountain also have implications to Las Vegas. These implications are discussed in this paper.« less