A two-dimensional spectral analysis has been carried out for the topography and the Bouguer gravity anomaly of the Basin and Range Province in western North America. The aim was to investigate the possible presence of dominant wavelengths in the deformation pattern at the surface and at the depth of compensation. The results suggest that a 200-km wavelength in the deep compensating mass distribution has been inherited from an early tectonic phase of extension at an azimuth N65??E. The corresponding surface topography exhibits prominent overtones at wavelength of 100, 75, and possibly 45 km. It is argued that these characterize the non-linear rheology of the upper crust. The short wavelengths in the topography reflect the present phase of deformation, mixed with the results of the older deformations. These results point to a need to extend the physical models of lithospheric stretching beyond the presently available one-phase scenario. However, they show that the boudinage instability concept is consistent with the data. ?? 1987.
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Spectral analysis of topography and gravity in the Basin and Range Province