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Caliornia Geology Magazine Jan-Feb 1992

Caliornia Geology Magazine Jan-Feb 1992

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PETE Wll:.oN
SIIct'e1ary for Rf1$OUrr;»$
In This Issue I

Aslisanl TechnocaJ Ed tor'
Assi5WII EdllOt

Ccwer photo: Detachment lauh: Itllhe Whipple Mountains <It
soulheaslem Califomia The ftaI-¥ng canr.ct IIIt1e detactmelli
laull wtuch separates the recIdIsI'l-l:lr twlging WIll rocks tram
the underiying, lIght-eoklf8d Iootw8I rocb. The hBngIng WIll
COf'IS$I$ of mid- Terbary YObniC and , fOCb end lie
lQoIwaII COI\SlStS 01 aIlerfId PrecamtwI8n end ' II-*: crys-
taline Pho«J by CL PrdnoI..

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OOY PO&.2IIO S-- CA1llII122*1
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1992JVoh,flTle 45 Numbef I
CGECA 45 (l}l-28 (1992)
Mineral Education Conference
The California MlI)(!ral Education Foundation will host its second Mineral
Education Conference on August 12-14. 1992 al Califomia Stale University.
Sacramento. The conference will present minerals and mining infonnation.
activities. and workshops which can be used in the classroom.
The program INill include the history of mining and mining techniques in
Califomia. environmental and redamation issues. geology. mineral uses. and
geo-political and socioeconomk. issues.
The refundable registration fee of $10_00 inddes a tour of an active ITIIn-
ing operatIOn. gold panning demonstrations. and a barlJecue. Registration is
open to California teachers of aD grade Ievets. For more infOllTlation contact:
Barbara Stewart
(209) m-0658
Brenda Kress
Calilorrna Minerai EducatIOn Foundabon
9647 Folsom Blvd.
&ollte 148
sacramento. CA 95827
(916) 362·9305
Detachment Faults
California's Extended Past
Division of Mines and Geology
ERIC G. FROST. Geologist
San Diego Stale University
Photo 1. Detachment fault exposed In the south-central Whipple Mountains. The prominent rnlcrobl"eccla ledge along the fault
separates the tilted hanging wall rocks from lhe brecciated and altered mylonitic gneisses. Photos by CL Pndmore
unless otherwise noted.
DUring mid-Tertiary time. the earth's
crusl. in what is now the southwestern
United States, was being stretched and
pulled apart. leaving a profound imprint
on the rocks in the desert areas of Cali-
fornia. This regional extension was ac-
commodated by the widespread develop-
ment of normal faults. Detachment faults.
newly recognized features of this exten-
sion. are normal faults that are very gen-
tly dipping or subhorizontaJ (cover photo
and Photo I). Major structural features in
many mountain ranges in the desert
regions of California. Nevada. and Ari-
zona are now Identified as detachment
High-angle normal faults have been
recognized for years in the Basin and
Range province of the Southwest. They
are typically the range-front faults lhat
have given the province its distinctive
geomorphic character. Detachment faults,
in addition to high-angle normal faults. are
now known to pervade the Basin and
Range province. as "''ell as other portions
of California (Agure l). Because so much
of the information regarding detachment
faults has been generated at the research
level. these ideas are just being introduced
in undergraduate geology courses. Simi-
larly. the economic importance of detach-
ment faulting and crustal extension with
10. Tierra Blanca Mountains
11. Pinyon Mountains
12. Borrego Springs
13. Santa Rosa Mountains
14. Yaqui Ridge
15. Orocopia Mountains
16. Palm Desert
17. Old Woman Mountains
18. Chemehuevi Mountains
19. Sacramento Mountains
20. Dead Mountains
21. Homer Mountains
22. Castle Mountains
23. Clark Mountains
24. Kingston Range
25. Halloran Hills
26. Bullion Mountains
27. Newberry Mountains
1. Whipple Mountains
2. Riverside Mountains
3. Big Mana Mountains
4. Midway Mountains
5. Chocolate Mountains
6. Picacho Peak
7. Cargo Muchacho
8. Coyote Mountains
9. Fish Creek Mountains
28. Waterman Hills!
Hinkley Hills/Mitchel
29. Harper Lake
30. Sierra Pelona
31. Lockwood Valley
32. Edison
33. Slate Range
34. Wingate Wash
35. Black Mountains
35. Panamint Range
37. Funeral Mountains
38. Northern Panamint
39. Grapevine Moun,
40. Cottonwood Moun·
41. Cuesta Ridge
42. Northern Diablo
43. Clear Lake
44. Paskenta
45. Klamath Mountains
100 150 MILES
t I
Figure 1, Locations ollow·angle normal faults in California. BR .. Basin and Range.
precious metal mineralization and with
oil-bearing basins of southern California is
just now being investigated.
Although detachment faults are cur-
rently recognized in several areas of Cali·
fornia, many VJere originally interpreted
as thrust faults, Thrust faults are proouced
by compressive forces thrusting one rock
mass over another along a 10000angie
fault. Many gently inclined faults were
initially interpreted to be thrust faults
based on their dip. rather than on the
relationships of the rocks they displaced,
In the 1950s. Peter Misch and his
shldents VJere among the first to question
the origin of some of these low-angle
laults. In eastern Nevada they recognized
that many of these faults could not be
correlated with older Mesozoic thrusting
events (Misch. 1960). Richard
Annstrong's (1972) work in this region
led to a pivotal paper in which he
reinterpreted earlier mapping and used
geochronological relationships to show a
much younger Tertiary age for the 10lN-
angle faulting throughout much of east-
central Nevada.
In 1971 Ernest Anderson proposed
that the high-angle faults that tilted the
Tertiary rocks in portions of southern
Nevada flattened into low-angle normal
faults at depth. The existence of these
listric (CUlVed) faults indicated that much
more extension had occurred than was
previously thought.
In Death Valley. detailed mapping by
Lauren Wright and Bennie Troxel (1969,
1973; Wright and others, 1974) indicated
that normal faults made up the complex
fault zone previously mapped as the
Amargosa thrust (Nobel. 1941). Sirni-
larly. regional, subhorizontal normal
faults in southeastern California were first
recognized by Terry Shackelford and his
advisor. Greg Davis (Shackelford. 1976).
[n southeastern Arizona. George Davis
and his students were documenting the
widespread existence of this same type of
regional. gently inclined nonnal faulting
(Davis. 1975).
Geologists who had been working in
areas from southern Canada to north-
western Mexico began to appreciate the
regional occurrence of similar relation-
ships. Many of these workers attended
the Geological Society of America
Penrose Conference in 1977 and subse-
quently published GSA Memoir 153
(Crittenden and others, 1980). This land-
mark volume brought together their
studies which covered an immense area
affected by detachment faults.
Photo 2. Detachmentlault exposed in the Waterman Hills. near the microwave tow-
ers north of Barstow. The view is to the southeast. The hanging wall is composed
of brecciated and altered rhyolite. The footwall IS composed 01 mylonitiC granodIOr-
ite thai has been shattered and chlontized. This location is a Geological Society
ot America field trip stop described In Glazner and others (1988, p. 235. stop 2).
By the early 19805. geologists accepted
that much of westem Nonh America had
undergone a major period of extensional
faulting. Many low-angle faults of the Basin
and Range. Mojave. and Sonoran desert
areas are now recognized as detachment
faults (Photo 2).
Metamorphic Core Complexes
In the 19805 many geologists began
using the term metamorphic core complex
(Coney, 1980a. 198Ob) to describe areas
IAlith detachment faults. Initially, a metamor-
phic core complex indicated the association
of strongly metamorphosed footwall rocks
and lDlmetamorphosed hanging wall rocks
along a dome-shaped detachment fault. As
studies of detachment faults became more
widespread. it became apparent that not all
detachment faults are associated with meta-
morphic contrasts. nor are they all dome-
shaped. MetamorphiC core complexes are
ll()\,V considered to be areas where the deep-
est rocks affected by mid-Tertiary crustal
extension are exp:>se(l. HoVJeVer. many
extended areas expose shallower and less
deformed pans of the system and therefore
differ from the c1assk core complex. It may
be more useful to replace metamorphic core
complex with the term "highly extended
terrane" because of the recognition that
crustal extension affects many crustal levels.
The spectacular characteristics of detach-
ment faults capture the enthusiastic allention
of geologists and geology students. Many are
inspired by discoveries of major structural
features that others have overlooked or mis+
interpreted. New exposures of detachment
faults are continually being found. thus ex-
panding the areas known to be affected by
such faulting.
Detachment faults cut deeply into the
crust so they often juxtapose deeper crustal
rocks in the footwall with shallower crustal
rocks in the hanging wall (F'tgure 2). Across
the fault. the contrast in rock types is usually
conspicuous. so detachment faults are often
discovered by examining the contacts be-
tween strongly varying rock types.
Along many of the detachment faults in
the Colorado River region of southeastern
California and southern Arizona. the fault
surfaces are resistant ledges composed of
hard. dark orange to reddish brown. flinty
microbreccia (Photos 3 and 4). This very
fine-gralned lithified fault gouge can be
up to a foot (30 em) thick. Spectacular
examples of microbreccia along weD-
exposed detachment faults can be seen
in the Whipple Mountains. the
Chemehuevi Mountains, and other
areas in the Colorado River region
(Frost and Martin, 1982a. 1982b:
Davis and Anderson. 1991).
Detachment faults typically have a
broad zone of fractured rock called the
chlorite breccia zone. 1be rocks in this
zone have been altered by f1ukls that have
moved through the fractures. Chlorite. a
product of the alteration, gives the brec-
cia a greenish hue. In some areas. this
alteration has been accompanied by pre-
cious metal mineralization, explaining

WO" 6'"
Incipient hanging wall normallaulls

Bnttle - Incipient brecciation ® r...
DUClile zone and chloritlc alteration Incipient
along detachment fault Mylonization -
Prolfett (1977) provided some of the
most highly regarded evidence from his
extensive mapping and logging of more
than 100.000 feet (30.500 m) of drill
cores at Yerington. Nevada. His study
showed that high-angle normal faults
became very gently indined by the tilting
01 successive generations 01 nonnal
faults (Agure 4).
Normal faults in the hanging wall
probably occur as a combination of
tilted planar faults and listric faults
(Photo 6). Rather than being rigid like a
tilted book. most fault blocks are inter-
nally deformed. As the block moves, it
also changes shape by internal faulting,
-= .....
Brecciation and
chlontic alterallOn
overprinting fabriC
Hall-graben basins
"pp'o. J M'
Mid-Tertiary Basins
Figure 2. Sequential model of a rooted detachment fault. The gently dipping fault
projects downward across the brittle-ductile transition zone. Movement along the
ductile portion 01 the laull produces the mid-Tertiary mylorliles. With further move-
ment. rocks that were once deep in the crust (a) are juxtaposed against upper
crustal rocks (b). Brian Wernicke's (1981) preeminent interpretation 01 detachment
faults as rooted shear zones' provided the foundation lor understanding exten·
sional processes in the soulhwestern United States and other parts 01 the world.
Modified from Spencer and Reynolds. 1989.
why many old prospects and diggings
occur along the lault zones. In many
areas the chlorite breccia zone grades
downward into more coherent footwall
rocks. which are not appreciably altered.
Hanging Wall Structure
The hanging wall rocks of detachment
laults are broken up by normal faults
accompanied by abundant fracturing and
brecciation (photo 5). Within a given
region or structural domain. the laults
often have a consistent orientation. In
southeastern Calilornia and southwestern
Arizona. the normallaults strike north-
west indicating the crust in this region
was extended in a northeast-southwest
direction (perpendicular to the strike of
the faults).
These types ollaull5 were studied in
detail in the early part of the century in
the Bullfrog district of southern Nevada.
just east of Death Valley. Emmons (1907)
and Emmons and Garrey (l91O) used the
analogy of a set of books tipped to one
side to describe the area's structural lea-
tures. The faults become more gently
inclined by tilting as the rocks between
them till (Agure 3A).
To explain more complex tilting and
faulting. Anderson (1971) used listric
faults to resolw the relationships he ob-
served in southern Nevada. He noted that
where faults had steep dips, the strata
dipped gently. and where they had gentle
dips. the strata dipped steeply (Figure
Whether extension took place along
predominantly planar or curved faults has
been an ongoing controversy. John
Sedimentary basins fonned in the
haJf-graoons created by the tilting 01
crustal blocks (Figure 5). As coarse-
grained sediments were shed into the
basins. faulting continued to lUt the
strata. Angular unconfonnities and
shallowing dips indicate that faulting
continued during deposition. Because
these sediments were deposited and
faulted during regional extension. the
rocks they fonned provide a record of
the progressive uplift and erosion of the
basement rocks (Photo 7 and back
cover photo) (Pridmore and Craig.
1982; Teel and Frost. 1982; Pridmore.
1983; Miller and John. 1988; Nielson
and Beratan. 1990; Travis and others.
1990; Beratan. 1991). Age determina-
• Terms in boldface type are in lhe glossary on
page 15.
Photo 3. Close-up
of microbreccia and
underlying chlorite
breccia along the
Whipple detach-
ment fault in south·
eastern California.
The presence of
oxidi:l:ed iron in the
microbreccia gives
it a typical reddish-
brown color. In con·
trast. the underlying
breccia is typically
green due to the
presence of chlorite
and epidote.
tions of rocks that lNere tilted during this
exlension indicale thai most of this type
of faulting in southeastern California
look place during Iale Oligocene or early
Miocene time.
Myk:lnitic rocks. deformed rocks thai
often ~ both a foliation and a lin-
eation. are characteristic of deep fault
woes (Photo 8). Where these rocks
occur ad}acent to a detachment fault,
they are often incorporated in thick chlo-
rile breccia zones. The chloritic alteratk>n
and the brecciation are believed to have
taken place after the mylonites were
brought closer to the surface along de-
tachment faults.
Pholo 4. Exhumed
fTllCfobreccia sur-
face. Striae on
fault surface help
Indicate lhe direc-
uon 01 movement.
Photo 5. Normal tautls in hanging wall of Picacho detachment tauIt. southeastern California.
Faulls are sleep until they f1anen near the detachment fault. The geolOgists are standing on
'fne 6etactmlent tault sur/ace thattorms Ihe lloor of the wash.
It is controversial whether the
mylonitic deformation is directly associ-
ated with detachment faulting or with
other defonnationaJ events. notably older
Mesozoic thrust faulting. Isotopic studies
indicate that some of the mylonitic fabnc
did form at approximately the same lime
as detachmenl f a ~ and therefore
within the same tectonic environment
!Wright and o<h=. 1986, B<yan. and
Wooden. 1989). The presence of these
mylonitic rocks now exposed adjacent to
detachment faults provides strong evi-
dence for crustal thinning during regional
extension. Studies show that rnyk>nites
form at depths of 510 9 miles (810 15
kmllAnde=n. 1988, And<=>n and
other.i. 1988) so for these rocks 10 now
reside at the surface. aU of the overlying
rock must have been removed.
Broad antifonns also charactensticaUy
occur with detachmenl faults (Davis.
1980, Rehng and R_. 1980,
Cameron and Frost. 1981; John. 1984.
1987). In some regions there are two sets
of antifOllT1S thai lrend roughly perpen-
dicular to each other. \.Vhere this occurs.
the detachmenl faults and the rTIOlI1tain
ranges thaI contain them are dome-
One mOOeI for the development of
folds parallel to the Irend of the hanging-
wall faults is referred to as roll-over fold-
ing (Gibbs. 1983. 1984) or reverse drag
folding (Hamblin. 1965). As a hanging
wall is dragged downward over a curved
or downward flattening fault. it will fonn
a fold to accommodate volume changes.
This folding may be accompanied by
antithetic faulling. Adetachment fault
fokled in this manner indkates that the
faull itself lies in the hanging waD of an-
other slructurally deeper fault (FlgUl"e 6).
From her work in the Chemehuevi
Mountams. Samar.. John (1984. 1987)
considers the undulations that lreOO paral-
lel to the direction of extensKln 10 have
formed nol as folds. but as large grooYeS
or corrugalions.
In southeastern California. these fea-
tures have wavelengths of 100 feet
(30 mllo lens of miles. The larger undu-
lations could have formed as trough-like
features when large crustal blocks of rock
As extension progresses,
lhe fault·bounded blocks
as well as the taulls rotale.
To accommodate lurther
moyemenl, new high·angle
faults and Iractures are
Figure 4. This lault model
illustrates rotallon of planar
normal faults.
Photo 6. An example 01 the Inlenslty and compleXity 01 faulting seen W1thm the hangmg wal
rocks above the Wtupple Mounlalns detachment lault. SuallgraphlC sequence has been reo
pealed several bmes by a senes 01 subparallellaults and smaller antithetic faults. Nole the
presence of both planar and cuMld laults.

. 0 C Q,:::)
=::_-- ..... -
........ _._._._._._._._._._.- _ _.
A. Plal'\3r normal tauhs
Figure 3. Planar and kstnc normal faults.
A) Parallel planar normal fau!tJng IS olten
referred to as ttlled domIt'IO"s!yle faulting.
The fault blocks as well as the faults are
uniformly lilted. B) l.J$tnc normallaults !lat-
len dOwnward and merge with a detach-
ment tault. thiS lault model explains how
adjacenl blocks are tilted independently.
NOle lhatln the direction of downthrow,
the tilts are successfully sleeper.

.... _ _ -._.
_ •••• _ •••• _._ •••• _._ H _·· ••• .
_._ _ _ _ .
.................. _._ •••• _._•••••• _ H _ _
_._ _._ _._ _._ .
An overalllislric shape IS
produced as !he older fault
segments are rOlated Into
a subhonzonlal onenlalJon.
The result is a seoes 01
intersecting planar faults
that acconvnodate elClen-
$IOrl and rotallon of the
hangIng wan rocks
Photo 7. Coarse-grained clastic rock Inter·
preted to have been deposlted by a combina-
tIOn of avalanche and debns flow processes.
thIS unsorted, angular deposit was probably
denved from nearby upilted and faulted base-
ment rocks. Ayalanche. alluvial fan. braided
stream. and playa depoSItional enwonmenlS
are charaetenSlIC of detachmen\

\.Wre pulled apart along Iow-angle faults (Figure 7). The
rocks that once were structurally adjacent to many of
the ranges along the Colorado River region in Califor-
nia may now lie in western Arizona and southern Ne-
Since detachment faults have been recognized as
regional normal faults. many models have been pro-
posed to explain how they work. One of the most com-
mon questions is whether these faults originate as low,
angle faults or whether they are rotated into more
gentle inclinations with ongoing extension.
Wernicke (1981) proposed that detachment faults
originate as shalJow.dipping faults that extend deep into
the crust (Figure 2). The rooled detachment model is
used to explain features in the Mojave Desert (Dokka.
1986.1989: Dokka and others. 1988. 1991) such as
the \.WlI-exposed Harper Lake. Newberry Mountains.
and Mitchel Range detachment faults. Based on the
observations and field data of many workers in detach·
ment faulted regions. the moclel interprets mylonitic
rocks to be the OOumward ductile continuation of de-
tachrnent faults (Wernkke. 1985).
Detachment fault formation can also be thought of as
a system of large normal faults that tilt blocks of crust
(Figure 8). Tilting of individual blocks results in tilting of
the ma;or faults as \.WII. This is similar to the tilting that
takes place in the hanging wall rocks. but on a larger
scale. The high'angle faults become Iow·angle faults
with progressive motion within the fault system. Rekl
evidence from eastern Nevada indicates that some of
Photo 8. Miocene mylonitic gneiss in the lootwall of the Chamehuevi
detachmentlault. The block in the cenler of the photograph has been
rotated along low-angle faulls. Underlying layers have arched 10 fill in
the void. This outcrop helps show how the large-scale development 01
delachmenllaults can ttlt crustal slabs.
Figure 5. Block diagram of hall-graben basins. The progres-
sive tilling 01 hanging wall blocks formed half-graben baSins.
Sedimentation dUring this motion left a record of the uplitl
and erosion oltha basement terrane. Early formed strata
were tilled progressively steeper.
these faults penetrated to deplhs of 6 miles (10 kml prior to
rotation (Gans and Miller. 1983).
Progressive offsci and tilting brought the mylonitic rocks out
of the ductile middle crust. Uplift of the middle crust to Ihe
surface was probably accompanied by Tertiary intrusions in the
lower crust ((ians and others. 1989).
By adding lhe dimension of depth. seismic profiles have
enhanced our understanding of how crustal extension takes
place. Within the past few years. two groups have been effec-
tive in providing cruslal-scale perspectives on extensional pro--
cesses. COCORP (ConsortilUTI for Continental Reflection Pro-
ming) has provided deep seismic reflection data across large
portions of the Basin and Range (Cheadle and others. 1986:
Allmendinger and others. 1987: Serpa and others. 1988:
Serpa. 1990). These stlX!ies have helped identify extensional
slructures in the subsurface and have provided a picture 01 the
seismic character 01 the crust on a regional basis.
CALCRUST (California Consortium for Crustal Studies) has
focused on the problems associated with detachment faulling
within southeastern California (Henyey and others. 1987:
Aueh and Okaya. 1989: Wang and others. 1989). The study-
ing and reprocessing of industry seismic lines in the region
demonstrated that detachment faulls. hanging waU normal
faults. and mylonitic rocks in this largely crystalline terrane are
all imageable (F"Jgure 9). Additional seismic profiling by
CALCRUST in the Whipple Mountains area provided the
opportunity to match surface geology with seismic reflections.
Interpretations of the data (Frost and Okaya. 1986: Okaya and
Frost. 19800. 1986b: Lucazeau and Okaya. 1991) indicate
that a zone of mid-cruslal reflectors extends westward from the
Whipple MOlUltains and may be conlinuous with the mylonitic
rocks exposed in the central Mojave detachment terrane stud-
ied by Dokka (1989). Qazner and others (1989), and Walker
and olhers (1990).
Figure 7. The large undulatIOns that are parallel to the di-
rection ot movement are considered 10 be accentuations of
the onglnal taul! surlaces. Rocks that were adjacent to or
overlying mountains along the Colorado RlVer in southeast-
ern California may be found in ranges 10 the nonheast in
La,ll" c:ort\IlPloQflS ar" 1I'oOl.II'Uon·1ll8
troughs ;ond &l8$IS
An early-formed detach-
ment fault..
As the hanging wall
mOl/as away from the
second fault it folds Into
the fault to fill the void.
5egment "a" of the IIrst
detachment fault defines
pari of the fall-over fold.
Funher steepening of
segment "b" may be due
to steepening 01 the sec-
ond delachmentlaull at
becomes pari of the
hanging wall as another
detachment faulliorms
1.11 depth.
Uplift and erosion ell-
poses the folded detach·
ment fault. Rocks that are
topographic hlQhs at the
center ollhese dome-
shaped ranges wefe
ongmally the very deep
parts of the detachment
fault system. Figure mod/-
fied from Gibbs (1984).
Detachmenl faull
" a
" 'b-
.... second
........ detachment laul1
... _-----

- " " " "
, '.
Figure 6. 5equential model 01 how a detachment fault can be folded
into an antiform.
Non-mylonitic crystalline hanging wall rocks
Zone or tlflllle
1Cuctlle zone 01
mylonitIC rock lormaloon
_---::=""0',... Normal fa ults
within hanging wall
Tilted hangmg wall blocks
Sedimentary BaSin
Non·mylOnltic crystalline
tootwall rocks

opproximo!ely I mIle .....-::..- /-
/,/'/ ,-
/ ",.... /' ././ /',..-
Detachment / TUted crustal bl0;t- -
- Faults '" .. /' /",.... ",....
- .... ///'/.-/ /-----
- Uplifted mylonillc rocks.-- /'" /' ",.............../
/" ....- - --- - - - y"':..:=-.,. ..
--- - ...<:;... =- .....::::::::- ==-...::::---:::-
-..=::;---::::::::; :::=:::-.-:.... ..:-- ------ - -
--:::::-- - -
opproximo!ely 9 miles "---= ---'
Figure B. Tilled slab model for detachmenllaull systems. The low-angle character of major normal faults is a function 01 the tilting Of moder-
ately inclined faults. Multiple faults desceocl into the ductile zone and ollset earty·formed mylonitic rocks. Although some mylonites may
have formed aJong the roots of discrete detachment faulls, thiS model suppons the hypotheSIS Ihat a regional zone of subhorizontat mylonitic
rock was developed during crustaJ extension. This model Is based on held studies and seismic rellecllon data in southeastern California.
Courtesy of E.G. Frost, R.G. 8Jom. and R.E. Cnppen.
Because detachment faulting is still not
well understood. developing an appropri-
ate mexlel for crustal extension continues
to be the focus of many researchers.
Extension in the southVJeSlem United
States and other areas of the \A/Orld can
best be understood through the study of
these fault systerns on a crustal scale.
DetachlTlcrlt faulting has been widely
recognized and well studied in southeast-
ern California. southern Arizona. and
Nevada because the effects of it are well
exposed. As our understanding of exten-
sienal processes improves. we need to
review the geology of other areas of Cali-
fornia where similar features may be
In southern California the extensional
characteristics of the Diligencia Basin.
preserved in the Orocopia Mountains.
Ward Valley
Turtle mountains
Chemehuevi Valley
;:" C
..... . - ;j.. ( ..
'. ... -

_ .'J: ',,;' ."<..
_",._.... ""':.\:_ ..
c' ",'0'f<,.:' :''''''-r- :"."., ..,".« '£<; .. ,,-' "'r 4
,';:..., ',.:' >.'- !:-:4,..:::-.'':-;: ... §" 0• ,..-..-.,: :-;'!'.... .....

Figure 9. seismic retlectlon data across the valleys to the west 01 the Chemehuevi
Mountains. Northeast end of the hne begins a few thousand feet from the exposure
or Chemehuevi detachment fault (COF). This raul! is projected onto the right side of
the profile; the southwest dip IS interpreted to be part 01 a rollover fold resulfmg
from movement along the underlying northeast-dipping fault. Note the tilted lault
blocks and mid-Tertiary baSins. The short discontinuous reflections in lower hat! of
the prolife are interpreted to be the seismic e:w::pression of mylonilJc rocks. Original
data provided to CALCAUST by Compagnie Generale de Geophysique (CGG). In-
terpretation and reprocessed data courtesy 01 D.L. Okaya and E.G. Frost
Pnoto 9. Detachmentlault in the Orocopia Mountains. Note the conspicuous green (tootwalt) and red (hanging wall) COnlacl. Geologists are
walking along the trace ot the tault. Movement along the detachmentlault is Interpreted to have brought up the chlontlcally altered looTWall
rocks from deeper levels along the fault zone and placed them against the structurally higher, oxidized hanging walt rocks. The presence 01
this fault near the east side 01 the san Andreas lault implies that the westward conllnuation of detachment faulting is probably 0"5etto the
are tied to detachment fault tectonics
(Photos 9 and 10) (Robinson and Frost.
1989. 1991). Because these rocks lie so
near the San Andreas fault. other mid-
Tertiary basins located farther to the
north and to the VJeSt of the San Andreas
fault may also be related to detachment
tectonics. Although the origin of many of
Califomia's southern and coastal basins of
late Oligocene to early Miocene age have
traditionally been tied to strike-slip tecton-
ics. Tennyson (1989) indicates there is a
lack of conclusive evidence for strike-slip-
faulted basins of this age.
More likely. the origin of late Oligo-
cene and early Miocene .sedimentation
and deformation may be related to the
same extension that affected areas in the
desert regions to the east. Seismic reflec-
tion profiles seem to image components
of detachment systems across pans of
the Los Angeles basin. Cuyama basin.
and continental borderland area. even
though these areas are overprinted by
folding and faulting associated with !ater
San Andreas deformation (Baker and
others, 1991; Buckner and others.
1991; Fanahipourand Frost. 1991).
Another exciting application of
detachment fault models is the reinter-
pretation of portions of the Coast Range
Thrust Wayko and others, 1987). Thin-
ning of the crust by detachment fault-
ing anSI.VeTS the question of how the
Franciscan Complex rocks. which have
resided at depths of 15 to 18 miles (25 to
30 km). are nowJuxtaposed with shallow-
burial rocks of the Coast Range Ophiolite
and Great Valley Sequence. The loss of
9to 12 miles (15 to 20 km)of rock is
attributed to extensional faulting (Harms
and others. 1987; Jayko and others.
1987; Krueger and Jones. 1987;
Krueger and others. 1987: Krueger and
Jones. 1989).
Geological relationships in the Kla-
math Mountains in nonhem California.
described by Schweickert and [rwin
(1989). are similar to those identified
with detachment faults. In this region.
tilled Tertiary conglomerates rest on the
gently dipping mylonitic surface of the
La Grange fault. This. along with the
absence of several thousand feet of stnK:-
turalthickness along other ponions of
the fault. suggests the fault may be a
detachment fault that has accommodated
substantial crusta! extension during Ter-
tiary lime.
Photo 10, Palm Desen detachment lault in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains. View IS to the southeasllrom vista point along Stale
Highway 74. The Coachella Valley and the Orocopla MountainS are in the distance. Much at the delachment fault has been eroded,
exposing the prominent footwall ramp which dips to the lell in lhe photo. beneath the crystalline hanging wall rocks of Sheep Mountain.
Because this tault and many others like it OCC\Jr along the eastern side 01 the Peninsular Ranges, just to lhe west of lhe San Andreas
faull, their presence raises the questions as 10 how far this extenSional deformatIOn continued to the west and how large a role if played
in the development of many of the basins along coastal and offshore California.
Although detachment faults have been widely recognized in
much of the California desert. it appears that other areas of the
State may have experienced extension during mid-Tertiary time.
Comparisons of well-studied detachment systems INith similar
features in other portions of the Stale may help link eastern
California geology with that of the northern and coastal regions.
Continued study of geological relationships in the desert areas
where these fealures are well-exposed will help refine the overall
understanding of these phenomena.
VIeW of the Mesqlllte ITW'l8 on Ihe southern Chocolate MountaInS ... 1989 Picacho
Peak and the C8tgo Muchac:ho Mountalns are.., the background. PhoIo by Chns
QuJing the 19805 the recogr\lOOn
of the association of gold mll"lefaliza·
tion and detachment faulting Shffill-
Iated exploration for large-tonnage,
\ow-grade gold deposits in southeast-
em California. southwestern Arizona.
and Nevada,
The intensive brecciation of large
volumes of rock along detachment
faults appears to be a strong control
for favorable c1eposllIon of the ore
mU'l€fals (Spencer and Welty, 1986.
1989). Hydrothennal circulation in
the thick brettia zones alters the rock
and probdbly mobilizes some of the
b.be and precious metaI5 (Spencer
MId Welty. 1986). These are
lhcn dqxlsited in breccia zones di
"""" owrly;ng !he detadunm' fduh
and in open spaces aJong norrnaI
f"'" " !he hangmg wall iWdkln> and
Heidrid<. 1982). Some of !he depo<
lIed mineral!t are calcite. hemallle.
pyrite. chalcopyrite. manganese ox
ides. quartZ. barite. and fluorite
(K.l>ith. 1978; Ridenour and other's.
1982; Wilkins and Heidrick. 1982;
Kohler and Bezore. 1988).
Most 01 the base and precious
metal deposits in the Whipple Moun-
tains are associated VJith hydrother
mal processes and detachment fault
ing (Ridenour and others. 1982;
Kohler and Bezore. 1988) Gold.
"ilver. and copper generally occur
withlJl altered fractures. and
shear 7.OIleS, The majority of these
deposits are high-srade but typically
of limited extent both ...erticaJIy and
hon=>laIy II<ohIo< and ae""e.
At the P\cacho mine in so..nhe:cbt-
em California. brecciation and hydro-
thermal alteration associated WIth
detachment faulting are interpreted
to have provided the environment for
the deposition of disseminated gold
(Drobeck and others. 1986; Frost
and others. 1986; Liebler. 1986. 1988).
The ore grade!> seem to increase in pro--
portion to the degree of shattering 01 the
host rock (Frost and WatO\l.lich, 1987).
The worId-class MesqUite mine. ap-
proximately 15 miles (25 kill) northwest
of the Picacho mine, Is another area
where gold mineralization been re-
lated to detachment lclU1tmg (Frost and
WatOUlich. 1987; ShafiqUllah arxl others.
1990). The orebody was disccM:'red on
the southwestern side 01 the OloooIate
Moun""",. kugeIy buried by"""" The
buial can be attributed to the highly frae·
tured nature 01 the tn.t rock thdt
nally enabled the mineIalized fb:Is to Row
through the rock and deposIl the gold,
The shattered Ildture of the rock then led
10 rapid erosaon. forTT\dtion of pb::er gold
deposib. and buIidl of the ore deposit
The origln of the fuicb at the
mine been tied to Tertiary plutonic
bodieslD.M 19901. Fludsgen·
erated from the plutonism associated
with the Tertiary extcnsK:ln pass up-
ward along the brittle fault zones and
precipUate along the structurally high·
est components of the detachment
The key to targeting these typeS of
gold deposits may lie in dentifying the
structurally highest portions of a de-
lachment fault system in a region of
Tertiary pkltonism. Although much of
southeastern California is affected by
detachment faulttng, not. aD of the
have the me,.Dsrte source rocks 10
have """""'" !he """"""'" flwd>
Further of the st:ruetural
processes and chemical envirorunenb
i!lSSClC'Iated WIth detachment fau/ting If'\
known gold producing areas is funda·
mental to mineral exploration in other
extended terranes.
angular unconfonnity: A break in a depositional sequence in which younger
sediments rest upon the eroded surface of tilted or folded older rocks.
antithetic faults: Minor faults that dip in the direction opposite to the major fault
with which they are associated.
foliation: 10e planar arrangement of textural or structural features in a rock.
lineation: A structure in or on a rock that fonns lines (for example. flow Jines or
stretched minerals).
seismic reDection study: An exploration method that sends vibrations into the
ground and times their return from surfaces that bounce the energy back. The two-
way traveltime, the time il lakes for the energy to come back to the surface. indi-
cates the depth of a reflecting surface. 10e reflection profile is a two-dimensional
display of this data which is used to delineate geologic structures and changes in
rock type.
shear zone: A tabular zone of rock that has been crushed and brecciated by
many parallel faults.
Cindy Pridmore Is 0 geolo-
gist with the Regional Ge0-
logic Mapping Project at the
Division of Mines ond Geol-
ogy. Her ongoing interests in
the Soulhwest ore profes-
slonol as well as recreationol.
Eric Frost Is an associate
professor wilh the Deparl-
ment of Geological &Iences
01 Son Diego Slate Unluersity.
He teaches structural geology.
leetonles. remote sensing,
seismic Interpretotlon. ond
field srudles. His current
research Interest is the three-
dimensional restoration 01
extensional terranes.
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Tertiary basln devek;lpment and tectonIC
ImpbcalJOflS, WhIpple detachment sys-
tem, Colorado River exten5lOl1al corndor.
CahlOrr'lla and Anzona: Journal 01 Geo-
phySICal Research. v, 95. no. B1.
Noble. L.F., 1941, Structural leatures 01 the
VirgIn Spnng area. Death Valley. Cali1or-
tva; GeologJCal SOCIety 01 Amef1Ca Bulle-
lin 52, p. 941-1000
Okaya. DA, and Frost, EG, 19B6a, Crustal
structure 01 the Whlpple-Turtle-Qld
Woman Mtns. regIOn baSed on
CAlCRUST and Industry setSmic pro-
files: GeologICal Soaety 01 Amenca
Abstracts WIth Programs. v. 18, no. 2.
Okaya, D.A.. and Frost, E.G, 1986b,
RegIonal tectonIC ImplicalJons 01 the
CALCRUST SE!lsmIC proliWng SOUthweSl
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EOS Transactions 01 the American Geo-
phySICal UnIOn, v 67, no. 44, p 1109.
Pndmore, C.L, 1983, The genetIC associa-
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detachment·tault detormatlon, and
anlilormal uplift In the Baker Peaks-
Copper Mountaitls area 01 southwestern
Arizona: Unpublished M.S. thesis, San
Diego State UniverSity, 127 p.
Pridmore, C.L., and Craig, C., 1982. Upper-
plate structure and sedimentation of the
Baker Peaks area. Yuma County, Ari·
zona. in Frost. E.G.. and Martin, D.L.,
editofs, Mesozoic·Cenozoic tectonic
evolution 01 the Colorado River region,
California, Arizona, and Nevada: Cordille-
ran Publishers. san Diego. p. 356·376.
ProHelt. J.M., Jr.. 1977. Cenozoic geology ot
the Yenngton distrICt, Nevada, and Impli-
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and Range faulting: Geological SocIety 01
America BuUetitl. v. 88. p. 247-266.
Rehrig. W.A. and Reynolds, S.J.. 1980,
GeologIC and geochronologiC recoonals-
sance 01 a northwest·trending zone 01
metamorphIC complexes in southern
Anzona, In Crittenden, M.D., Cooey, P.J.,
and DavIS. G.H" editors, Cordilleran
metamorphIC core complexes: Geolog-
JCaI Social}' 01 Amenca MemOir 153,
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Orocopla Mountains detachment system:
progressive ductlle to OOttle development
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II'l southern Caldorma The temporal Slmi-
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the san joaquIn GeologICal Soaety
01 Amenca Abstracts Wl1h Programs,
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CynthIa L Pridmore
The San Andreas laull system and lIS pnoclpal branches are identified by blue
~ n e s Some other laults are shown In black. ModIfied from Geology of calilomla.
Noms and Webb. 1990
A fault is a fracture along which there
is ~ 1 . Some faults are aetuaIIy
composed of several fractures called fault
branches. Collectively the branches are a
fault zone (see map).
CalifonUa's diYerse landscape arxl
complex geology can be attributed 10
faullmg Many of the Stale's valleys,
momtain ranges. and desert aTeaS show
the effects of faulting. Faults create Wlder·
ground traps in which vakJable reservoirs
of petroleum lonn. and spaces in which
underground walers deposit valuable mel-
aIs in the fann of veins and masses of ore.
Faults are distirq.Jished by abrupI
changes in rock struetuTe or composition.
SometJmes a fault can be recognized by
the displacement of a partia..dar feature
such as a bed or a vein.
TIle best places to observe faults are
usually In roadcuts. quarries. and sea cliff
Faults and fault zones are dassiflEld by
how the rocks on each side of the fauh or
fault zone move past each other. 1here
are two main types of movement along
fautts: 1) a sideways movement called
strike slip. and 2) an up or doYJn Il"IClVe-
menl called dip slip.
Strike-Slip Faults

~ '00 UO "'IUS
, ,
, , ,
lbe movement along a strike-slip fault b approximately
parallel to the strike of the fault. meaning the rocks move
past each other horizontally.
The San Andreas is a strike-slip faub mal has displaced
rocks htn:Ireds of miles. As a resUl of horizontdl mo"emenl
along the fault. rocks of ~ different age and composition
have been pIac:ed side by side. The San Andreas fault ~ a
fault zone rather than a sangle fault and movement may oc-
cur along any of the many fault surfaces in the zone, The
surface effects of the San Andreas fault zone can be observed
lor over 600 miles (1.000 km).
Rever-se faults· are dip-slip faults in \lJhich the har.glng
waD moves up relative 10 the footwall. Reverse faults are the
resui of compressk)n (forces that push rocks toqetherl_
The Sierra Madre fauk zone of southern California Ii an
example of rT'lCM!'IllCfV.. There the rocks of the
San Gabriel Mountains are being pushed up and over ttw
rocks of the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. Move-
menl on the Sierra Madre fault zone is part of the process
that created the San Gabriel MOl.ll'tains_
Dip-slip faults are faults on \lJhich the movement Is para!
k!l tD the dip of the f.mll surf«e. Nonnotl hlulb· Me dip-
slIP faults on which the hanging "air· (the rocks above the
fid: swface) move oo.m re01M! to the f()()lU.ra8·· (the rocks
below the fau.t surface). Normal faults are the resuh of exten-
sion (forces thai pull rocks apart),
hangl wall)
Dip-Slip Faults
Where the dip of a nonnaI fauk's surface is sleep. it is
called a hlgh-angte normal fault:. or Simply a normal faull
The Owens Valley and ihe Sierra Nevada fault zones are ex·
ample; of rug,-angIo nonnaJ fault> Togeth..-. they
bkrl that forms o.wns Valley. Tbs type
of fault-bounded valley is caBed a graben A fauh--bomded
ndge ts caIIed a horst
A thrust fault is a reverse fauk with a gmtly-dppir.g
fault surface. Thrust faults are very common in the KIaInaIh
Mou-D-.sd """"'"' Calfaroa.
Where the dtp of a nonnaI faulfs surface Is very gentle or
aImo!.t fiat. it is referred 10 as a detachment fault or
nonnaI fault. Detachmenl faults are common in lhe desert areas
of Dlifomla
"The terms -normar and ....evelS8· were first used by EngUsh coal mirl8fS 10
describe laults. When wotIlIng a flat coat bed whefell 'IlI8$ etisloeal!CI by a
normal fauI:. !he Inr*ScontlflUed !he WOltangs 81tt. upward or cbMlWard
on tt'I8 ButI SUflace in tt'I8 same. or ·normal: dkeQion.. The WClfkJn95 in.
56IIm dsloCined by. reverseliluh __al50 oontJnU8d upwIrd or dorwnwatd
on the laull. but in ll'le oppo$IIe, or ·r8Vef5e,· dif8Ct1Ofl (o,akangas 1991J.'
."The terms "hangng walr and "tootWalr are also old mining lerms. These
terms ...ere ooomaty used in inclined underground PMSllo-"'Y5 10 r11llJf 10
the rock "haJ'lOlng" oyefhead (Itle hanging wal) IIIld lhe IIoor beneiI/tI rhe
1TUIl8f'S'leet (me IoolWall) (Otakanoas, 1991).'
, A W . liIll. Scta.ofoIllIUllinIo GIl 1>10o')' _ GII-.etrwy
goo<IlIlIogy Hill. Inc _ v....... 2lIoI "
Mendocino County, California
A Photo Essay
ERIK E. OLSBORG, Engineering Geologist
Photos by Erik E. Olsoorg
The tide is about elevation minus 2 feel
(60 em) in this photograph taken from the
bluff. south across the wi.lve-i:ulterrace.
This terrace is inundated up to the sandy
beach 1.11 the bluff toe during high tide.
The area is known locally as &>wling Lane
Beach, and Bowling Ball Beach, because
of its appearance. The ocean waves in the
distance are breaking over Saunder's Reef.
The terrace is composed of the
Gallaway-Skooner Gulch Fonnation. ma-
rine sedimentary rocks of Miocene age.
These thin beds consist of blue \0 gray
claystone and siltstone, with some light
brown to orange-brown shale and minor
sandstone. The claystone and siltstone
are generally soft to friable (easily
crumbled), but the shale and sandstone
are somewhat harder.
The nearly-flat terrace is marked by a
series of narrow, linear, parallel ridges
that are a few inches to several feet wide
by several hW1dred feet long. These
Tidges form by differential weathering of
the strata. The more erosion-resistant
beds are several inches to approximately
2 feet (.6 m) higher than the softer beds.
This site is a classic exposure of bed-
ding strike (across the terracel and dip
(exposed within the bluff). The bluff is
partially aligned as a dip slope {the bluff
face is parallel to the bedding strike at
roughly the same dip inclination).
A fault runs across the terrace in the
upper half of the photo. offsetting the
beds and altering the northwest trend of
the bedding strike by a few degrees.
The top of the bluff affords a
view of the strata extending from
the lower terrace up the bluff to
the base of a second terrace. Note
the seepage at the contact between
the dipping rocks and the nearly-
horizontal terrace deposits.
I n the phot_ph above. the """. along the
bedding strike. from the lower lmace northwest
toward the bluff. This portion of the bluff face is
nearly perpendicular to the dip of the bedding.
Strata exposed in the bluff dip 58 10 61 degrees
tOY/ard the southwest.
The terrace on the lOp of the bkiff. appraximalcly
90 leet (27 m) aboYe sea level. is covered by 6 to
8 feet (±2 m) of light-colored. sha1Iow marine. Pleis-
tocene terrace deposits. Nol:e the apparent landslide
(left) where the top 01 the bluff tilts back.
The photograph to the right is a close-up
of beds offset by the fault visible in the first
photo. Although the fault movement ap-
pears to be right-lateral strike slip, there
could have been a significant (if nol lotal)
vertical component (southeast side of the
fault upthroum ~ see illustration).
Eros+on aeates the "'soon 01
''llhl·latllfal stroke-slop 1 8 u ~ l n g
This is a IIiew toward the face of
the bluff where the strata dip
parallel to the slope, The ~ s w i r l ­
Ing" appearance is due to the
differential erosion of me rock
strata, Several okler (inner) beds
are visible through "holes" eroded
in me younger (outer) beds, 1he
erosion is caused by slaking
(crumbling due to exposure to air
and moisture) of me sedimentary
rock. Small rock particles continuo
ously drift dO\lJll the bluff face
fonning a talus deposit that Is
periodkally wa>hed .woy by high
tides and Stonns.
The fault that cuts the bedding
(center of photo) is the same fault
as the one in the preceding ph0-
tographs. The terrace deposits
capping the bluff do not appear
offset. so the fault movement
must haw occurred prior to for·
mation of the nearly horizontal
Continuous slaking of the frio
able rock strata. combined with
periodic waw erosion at the bluff
toe. is causing a relatively high
bluff retreat rate at this location.
Note the overhanging vegetation
on the upper bluff edge. Based
on reconnaissances along the
bluff in 1977 and 1989, and on
aerial photographs taken in
1952,1964, 1972, and 1981,
bluff retreat is approximately 4 to
6 inches 11 0 to IS an} per year.
Erik E. 0Isb0rg is the Prirt-
d"'" Engineering Geologist
and Managing VICe President
of BACE Geotechnical, Inc.
of Windsor. Califomia. ~
CAUFORNIA. Scale: 1: 100.000.
By T.L.T. Grose. G.J, Saucedo. and
D.L. Wagner. 1991. $7.00
This (}pen-Rie Report makes existing
geologic data for the Susanville 30 x 60
minute quadrangle available to the public.
P1ior to its release. only unpublished recon-
naissance geologic maps were available for
this area. This report was produced by the
[)jvisiorl of Mines and Geology's (DMG) Re-
gional Geologic Mapping Project as part of its
function - to gather. analyze. and disseminate
information about Californla's regiOnal ge0-
logic setting. Field work was supported in
pan by the U.S. Geological Survey Coopera-
live Geologic Mapping Program,
The map area includes parts 01 the Modoc
Plateau. Sierra evada. and Basin and Range
geomorphic provinces of northeastern Cali-
fornia and covers approximately 1.850
square miles (4.800 km2) of northeastern
P\umas County and southeastern Llssen
County. DMG orn 91-1 consists of a ge0-
logic map plate and explanation (26 p.) of the
geologic Wlits. map symbols. references. and
the source data used in the compilation. The
geologic map Is compiled on a topographic
base at a scale of UOO.OOO (1 inch equals
about 1.6 miles).
This map shows the general geologic
framework of the area and provides basic
geo6ogic infonnatiOn on the age. distribution.
and descriptkln 01 the various rock typeS. and
the location of faults and other geologic stnx:-
tures. The area is underlain primarily by late
Cenozoic volcanic rocks that overlie an okler.
and for the most part. concealed basement
consisting of Cretaceous and pre-Cretaceous
granitic and metamorphic rocks. Siena Ne·
vada vok:anlc sources were located along the
present SieTT3n crest and to the east. generat-
Ing a sequence of rhyolite. andesite. and
basalt flc:r.vs and pyroclastic deposits generally
distributed along the Tertiary drainage sys-
tems. The Honey Lake fault zone, a north-
west-trending zone of en echelon. right-lateral
oblique slip faults marks the boundary be-
!\\;een the Sierra Nevada and the Basin and
Range. The Basin and Range and Modoc
regiOns are characterized by mountalflOl.lS
terrain and intervening lowlands, Mountain
peaks are moslly older anciesitic to basaltic
stratovolcanoes whUe the Iourlying areas are
underlain by younger basalt flows or fluvial
and lacustrine deposits.x
CAUFORNIA. Scale, 1: I00.000. Compiled
by Elise Mattison and L.G. Youngs. 1991.
DMG OFR 91-10 Is a gravity map 01 parts
of San Bernardino and lnyo counties_ This
gravity map is one ina series of 1100.000-
scale quadrangles complied to complement
the regional geologiC map, Data for the
OMshead Mountains qwdrangle are compiled
from the existing literature. The map shows
contours of the total intensity 01 the earth·s
gravitational fiekl from 382 gravity stations.
The contours are lines of equal Bouguer grav-
ity intensity in miUigals (a tA'lit of acceleration
used with gravity measurements). Gravity con-
tours are on a planimetric base and show cui·
tural features.x
NIA Scale: 1:100.000. Compiled by L.C.
Youngs and Elise Mattison_ 1991, $5.00
This gravity map Is one In a series of
1, loo.000-scale quadrangles compiled to
complement the regional geologic map. Data
for the Monterey qwdrangle are compiled
from the existing literature. The map shows
contours of the total intensity of the earth's
gravitational fiekl from 1,919 gravity sta-
tions. The contours are lines of equal Bou·
guer gravity Intensity in milligals (a unit of
acceleration used with gr/lVlty measure-
ments). Gravity contours are on a plani-
metric base showing coastline and cultural
DMG orn 91-12 COMPLETE
NIA. Scale: 1-100.000. Compiled by L.G.
Youngs and Elise Mattison. 1991 $500
DMG OFR 91-12 is a gravity map of
parts of Lassen and Plumas counties. This
gravity map is one in a series of 1 100.000-
scale quadrangles compiled to complement
the regional geologic map_ Data for the
Susanville quadrangle are compiled from the
existing literature. The map shows contours
of the tot<ll IntenSIty of the earth's gravita-
tional field from 490 gravity stations. The
contours are lines 01 equal Bouguer graVity
intensity in miUigals (a unit of acceleration
used with gravity measurementsl_ Gravity
contours are on a planimetric base with cul-
tural featuresY
DMG orn 91-13 COMPLETE
NIA. Scale, 1:100.000. Compiled by L.G.
Youngs and Elise Mallison. 1991. $5.00
DMG OFR 91-131s a gravity map for
part of Lassen County. It is one in a series of
I lOO,OOO-scale qwdrangles compiled to
complement the regional geologic map. Data
for the Eagle Lake quadrangle are compiled
from the existing literature. The map shoI.l.'s
contours of the total intensity of the earth's
gravitational fiekl from 335 gravity stations.
The contours are lines of equal Bouguer
intensity In miUigals fa unit of acceleration
used with gravity measurements). Gravity
contours are on a planimetric base with
NlA. Scale: UOO,ooo. Compiled by Elise
Mattison and L.G. Youngs. 1991. $5.00
DMG OFR 91-15 is a gravity map for
part of San Bernardino County. It is one in
a series of 1: lOO.OOO-scale quadrangles
compiled to complement the regional ge0-
logic map. Data for the Scxia Mountains
quadrangle are compiled from existing
literature. The map shows contours of the
total intensity 01 the earth's gravitational
field from 266 gravity stations. TOe con-
tours are lines of equal Bouguer gravity
intensity in mUligals (a unit of acceleration
used wilh gravity measurements). Gravity
contours are on a planimetric base with
cultural features.x
The preceding OFRs can be purchased
at DMG offices in Sacramento and San
Francisco. Reference copies are available at
the Sacramento. San Francisco. and Los
Angeles offices. See page 26 lor addresses
and telephone numbers.
NIA. Scale: 1:100,000. Compiled by L.G.
Youngs and Elise Mallison. 1991. $5.00
DMG OFR 9 t -14 is a gravity map lor
parts 01 San Bernardino. (flange. Riverside.
San Diego, and Los Angeles counties_ It is
one in a series of 1: 1oo.ooo·scale qwd-
rangles compiled to complement the regional
geologic map. Data for the Santa Ana quad-
rangle are compiled from the existing litera-
ture. The map shows contours of the total
Intensity of the earth's gravitational fiekllrom
2.782 gravity statIons. The contours are bnes
of equal Bouguer gravity intensity in miDigals
AMOUNT ENCLOSEO (Pnce Includes po$1age and sa.es $ _
Wllh an internatIonal money ordef Of draft payable In U.S. dollars ancl made out 10 DIVISION OF MINES
AND GEOLOGY Sand ordef to DIVISION OF MINES AND GEOLOGY, P 0 2980. Sacramento.
Caillorllla 95812·2980,

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COllnMS. Cal,IOffiI3 1968 .... $5.00
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MS15 PrelllTWlary reconnaISsance map 01 major landslides, San Gabnel Mountams,
Los Allgeles Collnty. Cahfornia. (scale: t:62.500). t969. SS.OO
__M$24 Geology 01 Ihtl ArlOyo Grande [151 quadraf'lgle. San LUIS Optsbo County.
Cahloma(scale t:48,0001·1974 ..... $700
__M530 Geology oltha sOlltheaSi qllanef 04 the Oat Mounlaln [7.5·J quadrangia.
Los Angeles Collnty. CaMorllla (scale. 1:12,000). t979.. $800
__M533 Geology 01 the southweSlarn pan or the Oat MountaIn [7.51 quadrangle.
Los Angales County, Cahlorllla (flCale: t1 2,000). t978,. . $7,00
MS35 Kawaah Paalls pluton andllS ralationshlp to lha age 01 the KElffl Canyon lault.
Tulare County. CahlorJlla (scale: 1:62.500), t976. . . $5.00
MS38 Geology at the KeellIr qlladrangle [15') quadrangle. Inyo County. Calrtorrtla
{scala 162.500).Umltlld SUpply. 1977. $8.00
MS39 Earthquake apcenter map of Cah!omia showlng 8\IElflts from 1900 through 1974
equal to or graatar than magnItude 40 or Imensoly V(scala:1 :1.000.ooo}, 1978 $500
_List 01 Ayallable PlIblicallons
________STATE ZIP _
OFR 91-19 is the fifth In a series of
reports on the Turkey Flat data. summariz-
ing the results from phase IV
Blind Prediction Test. 1be report presents
predictions subminoo during phase IV of
the Turkey Flat experiment. plus compari-
sons of those predictions to weak-motion
observations. The report is composed of
two principal sections: I) a summary of
results of the statisticaJ analyses and com-
parisons with observations. and 2) a series
of appendices containing all the plots of the
analyses and comparisons. The companion
Report 6 (Orn 91·20) presents all the
weak-motion OOselVatlons for Turkey Flal
and the implications of the simple modeling
of these obselVations done at the Division
of Mines and Geology. Reports 5 and 6
(OFRs 91-]9 and 91-20) v.iJl fonn a basis
for interpreting strong-motion results for
By Chris H Cramer and Charles R Real.
1991. 230 p., 177 ftgures. 9 tables. and 7
appendices, $7.00
Reference copies of OFR 91-17 are avail-
able in the Sacramento, Los Angeles. and
San Francisco DMG offICeS. Blueline copies
may be purchased at the Sacramento and
Los Angeles offices. Color copies are avail·
able at 1M Los Angeles ollice. For prices call
(213) 62Q.3560.Y
the Newport-Inglewood. Elsinore-Whinier,
San Jacinto. and Banning fault zones.

OFR 91·14 is available for purchase and
reference at Sacramento. San Francisco.
and Los Angeles DMG offices.....
The Santa Ana 1:100.000 quadrangle
lies between 30' and north latitude
and and 118" west longitude and
covers an area of approximately 2.000
square miles (5.200 km'Z). The map includes
the densely populated Orange County
Coastal Plain and the rapidly urbanizing
region of western Riverside County. The
report is a product of the Division of Mines
and Geology's (DMG) Regional GeologiC
Mapping Program. whkh is charged With
gathering. analyzing. and disseminating
information regarding California's regional
geologic setting. It is also supported by
COGEOMAP, a cooperative mapping
project of DMG and the U.S. Geological
Survey. The I: 100.00Ckca1e format per-
mits a regional synthesis of detailed geologic
mapping (based mostly on 1: 12.000- and
1:24.000·sca1e source maps) which pro,
vides a useful perspective toward under-
standing the stratigraphy. structure. and
geologic history of the region. 'The
1: IOO.()()().scaJe presentation is appropri-
ate for land-use planning applications such
as de:lineating regionaUy significant mineral
resource areas. evaluating geologic hazards.
and providing an effective basis for planning
future geologic work in the region.
(a unit 01 acceleration used With gravity
measurements). Gravity contours are on a
planimetric base With coastline and cultural
OFR 91-17 consists of three plates: a
geologic map. a geologic explanation. and
an index to source maps. The geologic
map. compiled on a topographic base.
shows the regional franw.vork geology and
provides basic information regarding the
relative age. description. and distribution of
the various rock typeS. and locations of
faults and other structural features. The area
consists of complexly folded Late Creta-
ceous through Tertiary marine sedimentary
rocks of the southern Los Angeles Basin,
These rocks were deposited on Late Creta-
ceous granitic rocks and Late Jurassic to
Early Cretaceous metasedimentary and
metavolcanic roof pendants of the northern
Peninsular Ranges. 'The area is broken into
structural blocks bounded by active faults of
OF 11-IE SANTA ANA 1: 100.000 QUAD-
RANGlE. CAUFORNJA. Compiled by
Richard B. Greenwood and Douglas M.
Morton. 1991. $8.00
NAME (Please prUlt or type) _

Subscription and Change of Address Form
o ADDRESS CHANGE: Send a recent address label and your new address.
Allow 60 days to rellect address change.
With an International money order or dratl payable in U.S. dollars and made out to DIVISION OF MINES I
AND GEOLOGY. Sand all orders and/or address change to: 1
'X' P. O. Box 2980.
Geologic Information and PUblications
660 8ercut Drive
Sacramento. CA 95814-0131
(9t6) 445·5716
San Francisco Bay Regional Office
1145 Market Street, 31d Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103-1513
(415) 557,1500
three subjects; 1) two weak·motion data
sets recorded at Turkey Rat and the ob-
sented site response (empirical transfer
functions) in tenns of Fourier spectral
ratios; 2) simple modeling of the ob-
sented spectral ratios with site amplifica-
tion functions from SHAKE (Schnabel.
and others. 1972): and 3) an examina-
tion of the character of the Weak·Motion
Test Event.
The principal objective of the Turkey
Rat Project is to systematically test and
compare all methods of estimating the
influence of local geology on ground
motion during earthquakes to determine
the reliability and cost effectiveness of
each. Secondary objectives are to gener-
ate a data base for the improvement of
these methods. or to develop new meth-
ods, and 10 address the long-standing
debate on the linearity of site response.
The approach is to collect high-quality
weak and strong ground-motion data and
geotechnical data. and to carry out a
series of "blind predictions." Experts
from around the world are invited to use
their preferred method and the acquired
data to predict ground motion at loca-
tions where the response will be known
but held in confidence until all predictions
have been submitted.:'::
Southern California Regional Office
107 South Broadway. Room t 065
Los Angeles. CA 90012-4402
(2t3) 620·3560"
OFRs91-19 and 91-20 can be pur-
chased at the Sacramento office. Reference
copies are available at the Sacramento, San
Francisco. and los Angeles offices.
3 yrs. $23.00
(18 issues) o
Chris H. Cramer. 1991. 93 p.. 27 figures.
5 tables. $7.00
the acqUired data to predict ground motion
at locations where the response will be
knOVJT1. but held in confidence until all
predictions have been submilled. x
OFR 91-20 is the sixth in a series of
reports on the Turkey Rat Project. It pre-
sents the weak-motion observations made
by the Division of Mines and Geology
(DMG) and the simple modeling done by
DMG as part of phase IV, Weak·Motion
Blind Prediction Test. The report covers
2 yrs. $15.50
(12 issues)
AMOUNT ENCLOSED (InclUdes postage and sales tax) $ _
NEW SUBSCRIPTION: Allow 60 days fOf delivery of !irst issue.
RENEWAL: To receive your magazine Without interruption. send in renewal
60 days before expiration date on the address label. (Example:
EXP0692 means that the subscription expires on receipt of May/June
1992 issue.) Please attach an address label from a recent issue.
Without an address label, subscription renewal wlll take 3 to 4 months
to process.
1 yr_ $8.00
(6 issues)
Turkey Flat once strong-motion data are
The principal objective of the Turkey
Rat Project is to systematically test and
compare all methods of estimating the
innuence of local geology on ground mo-
tion during eanhquakes to determine the
reliability and cost effectiveness of each.
Secondary objectives are to generate a data
base for the improwment of these meth-
ods. or to develop new methods, and to
address the long-standing debate on the
linearity of site response. The approach is
to collect high-quality weak and strong
ground-motion data. and geotechnical data.
and to cany out a series of "blind predic-
tions." Experts from around the world are
invited to use their preferred method and
Quaternary Studies
nary Studies in Eastern California and
Southwestern Nevada. Edited by Jennifer
Reynolds. 1991. San Bernardino County
Museum Association. 2024 Orange Tree
Lane. Redlands, CA 92374. 133 p.
$15.00. paper cover.
The San Bernardino County Museum
Association prepared this special publica-
tion of 29 papers in conjunction with
the 1991 Mojave Desert Quaternary
Research Center Symposium held May
17 - 20. A two-day field trip guide
explores the Mojave Desert and Basin
and Range provinces of the far eastern
Mojave Desert. western Nevada, and
southern Death Valley. A half-day field
hip guide presents an oveTView of the
surficial geology of the Cima volcanic
field, The volcanic center near lathrop
Wells. Nevada is the subject of another
paper, Other topics include the geologi-
cal history of southern California and
Nevada. the geology of the Kingston
Range area. extension and uplih. thrust
faults. Miocene sedimentation. faujasite
(a rare zeolite), Tertiary and Quaternary
gravels, the Mountain Pass mine and
alkalic complex. and late Quaternary
paleoecology. Several paleontological
papers report on the area's fossils, in-
cluding a late Pleistocene Shasta ground
sloth. One paper deals with archaeologi-
cal investigations in northern las Vegas
Valley. while others provide the colorful
histories 01 the Mescal mine and the Old
Spanish Trail.
Extensional Tectonics
AMERICA MEMOIR 176: Basin and
Range Extensional Tectonics near the
latitudes of las Vegas. Nevada. Edited
by Brian P. Wernicke. 1990. The Ge0-
logical Society of America. P.O. Box
9140. Boulder. CO 80310. 511 p..
9 plates. $115.00. hard cover.
The Basin and Range province in
the southwestern United States contains
some of the most spectacular exposures
of extensional structures in the world.
Many new interpretations and mcxlels
based on work in this region are pre-
sented in this collection of 26 articles.
The volume is dedicated to Bennie
W. Troxel and lauren A. Wright for their
pioneering work in the recognition of
low-angle nonnal faults in the Basin and
Range. They have inspired many geolo-
gists now working in the region, several
of whom are contributors to this volume.
The first chapter presents a state-of
the-art review of the plate tectonic setting
for western North America during the
Cenozoic. New interpretations of mag-
netic anomaly data from the North Pacific
provide insight into this pericxl of transi-
tion from a subduction to a transfonn
plate boundary.
Subsequent chapters address the prob-
lems 01 distinguishing between nonnal
faults and thrust faults and describing the
interactions between nonnal faults and
strike-slip faults. Also. the timing and
relationships of regional extension are
compared with magmatic activity. sedi-
mentation. and regional stratigraphy.
Two articles deal with the sensitive
issues regarding the geology of the
Nevada Test Site and of Yucca Mountain,
a proposed site for high-level radioactive
Several papers focus on areas in
California's Death Valley and Mojave
Desert. LANDSAT thematic mapper
imagery and detailed mapping are used
to analyze the relationships between fault-
ing and uplift of the Panamint Range
west of Death Valley. Seismic reflection
images are used to compare the reflective
character of the upper crust in the
Mojave Desert with that of the Death
Valley region.
These articles provide an excellent
intrcxluction to the study of extensional
tectonics. detachment faulting, and the
Cenozoic history of western North
America. They contain numerous maps.
sketch drawings, diagrams. photographs,
seismic line interpretations. and cross
sections. An extensive index completes
the volume. GSA Memoir 176 would be
a timely, concise. and infonnative addi-
tion to any geologic reference library.
Review by C.L. Pridmore.
Sonoran Geology
Special Paper 254. Edited by Efren Perez-
Segura and Cesar Jacques-Ayala. 1991.
The Geological Society of Amelica. P.O.
Box 9140. Boulder. CO 80301-9140.
130 p. $32.50. soft cover.
Researchers realize the importance of
the Sonoran region (northwestern Mexico)
in understanding the tectonic evolution of
the southwestern margin of the North
American continent. This volume brings
together important contributions to
Sonoran geology made primarily in the
last 10 years.
Topics in this book are: the relation
between the Paleozoic strata on opposite
sides of the Gulf of California; Upper
Triassic nonmarine and shallow-marine
rift-basin deposits; the depositional envi-
ronment of the Santa Clara Formation
(Upper Triassic Barranca Group); paleon-
tology and biostratigraphy of Cretaceous
rocks of the lampazos area; the geology
and chemical composition of the Jaralito
and Aconchi batholiths; the geology of
the Yecora area: Quaternary shorelines
along the northeastem Gulf of Califomia:
and Mesozoic coal deposits.
A Sell-Guiding Tour of Major Paleontolo-
gic Localities from Temecula to Red Rock
Canyon: Fossils. Structure. and Geologic
History. Edited by Michael O. Woodburne.
Robert E. Reynokls. and David P. Whistler.
1991. San Bernardino County Museum
Association. 2024 Orange Tree Lane.
Redlands, CA 92374. 40 p. $15.00.
paper cover.
The Mojave Desert is the dominant
geological province of inland southern
California. The early Tertiary highland
was eroded and then subjected to intense
mid-Tertiary regional north-south exten-
sion. Alluvial and lacustrine sediment accu·
mulated over about 4.000 rniles (6.500
km) before being fokled and faulted.
Michael O. Woodbume provides a descrip-
tion of the province's stratigraphy and
geologic history. A three-day field trip
guide focuses on the Mojave Desert and
intrcxluces 16 additional papers relating
to the paleontology of inland southern
California. Two of these papers present
studies of late Cretaceous (?) Plesiosaurs
and of Barstovian Oate Miocene} tridactyl
horses; others describe numerous fossil
fauna of various fonnations and locales:><:
PO BOX 2980
USPS 350 840
Moderately-dipping sandstones and conglomerates in the Whipple Mountains ot southeastern California. Faulted and tilted redbeds like thiS
are distinctive 01 detachment taulted terranes. Photo by C.L. Pndmore

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