Geologic data concur with geophysical and isotopic data that suggest the presence of deep crustal fault zones along the Battle Mountain-Eureka (BME) trend and elsewhere in Nevada. The fault zones may have originated during Proterozoic rifting of the continent and were likely substantially reactivated and modified during Paleozoic tectonism. Five distinct Paleozoic structural and stratigraphic domains are defined that demonstrate the complexity of Paleozoic tectonic events and also lead to hypotheses about ways in which the margin could have been modified. The current locations of these domains adjacent to the geophysically and isotopically defined indicators of the buried continent edge corroborate their interactions with the continental margin. During the Tertiary, preexisting crustal fault zones were intersected and reopened during episodes of extension and served as the conduits for deep-sourced, gold-rich fluids, which were disseminated into Paleozoic slope facies sedimentary rocks, forming sediment-hosted Carlin-type and other deposits. Multiple factors including the locations of these deep-seated structures, the original configuration of the lower Paleozoic continental margin of Nevada, and its subsequent reactivation during the Paleozoic all were fundamental controls on the location of younger mineral deposits. A clearer understanding of the original configuration of the margin and of the effects of subsequent Paleozoic and Mesozoic tectonic events on the margin would provide insight into the locations of these and other prospective mineral belts. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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Geologic and geophysical evidence for the influence of deep crustal structures on Paleozoic tectonics and the alignment of world-class gold deposits, north-central Nevada, USA