Modal Composition and Age of Intrusions in North-Central and Northeast Nevada

Data Series 250




Introduction Data presented in this report characterize igneous intrusions of north-central and northeast Nevada and were compiled as part of the Metallogeny of the Great Basin project conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) between 2001 and 2007. The compilation pertains to the area bounded by lats 38.5 and 42 N., long 118.5 W., and the Nevada-Utah border (fig. 1). The area contains numerous large plutons and smaller stocks but also contains equally numerous smaller, shallowly emplaced intrusions, including dikes, sills, and endogenous dome complexes. Igneous intrusions (hereafter, intrusions) of multiple ages are major constituents of the geologic framework of north-central and northeast Nevada (Stewart and Carlson, 1978). Mesozoic and Cenozoic intrusions are particularly numerous and considered to be related to subduction along the west edge of the North American plate during this time. Henry and Ressel (2000) and Ressel and others (2000) have highlighted the association between magmatism and ore deposits along the Carlin trend. Similarly, Theodore (2000) has demonstrated the association between intrusions and ore deposits in the Battle Mountain area. Decades of geologic investigations in north-central and northeast Nevada (hereafter, the study area) demonstrate that most hydrothermal ore deposits are spatially, and probably temporally and genetically, associated with intrusions. Because of these associations, studies of many individual intrusions have been conducted, including those by a large number of Master's and Doctoral thesis students (particularly University of Nevada at Reno students and associated faculty), economic geologists working on behalf of exploration and mining companies, and USGS earth scientists. Although the volume of study area intrusions is large and many are associated with ore deposits, no synthesis of available data that characterize these rocks has been assembled. Compilations that have been produced for intrusions in Nevada pertain to relatively restricted geographic areas and (or) do not include the broad array of data that would best aid interpretation of these rocks. For example, Smith and others (1971) presented potassium-argon geochronologic and basic petrographic data for a limited number of intrusions in northcentral Nevada. Similarly, Silberman and McKee (1971) presented potassium-argon geochronologic data for a significant number of central Nevada intrusions. More recently, Mortensen and others (2000) presented uranium-lead geochronology for a small number of central Nevada intrusions. Sloan and others (2003) released a national geochronologic database that contains age determinations made prior to 1991 for rocks of Nevada. Finally, C.D. Henry (Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, written commun., 2006) has assembled geochronologic data for igneous rocks of Nevada produced subsequent to completion of the Sloan and others (2003) compilation. Consequently, although age data for igneous rocks of Nevada have been compiled, data pertaining to other features of these rocks have not been systematically synthesized. Maldonado and others (1988) compiled the distribution and some basic characteristics of intrusions throughout Nevada. Lee (1984), John (1983, 1987, and 1992), John and others (1994), and Ressel (2005) have compiled data that partially characterize intrusions in some parts of the study area. This report documents the first phase of an effort to compile a robust database for study area intrusions; in this initial phase, modal composition and age data are synthesized. In the next phase, geochemical data available for these rocks will be compiled. The ultimate goal is to compile data as a basis for an evaluation of the time-space-compositional evolution of Mesozoic and Cenozoic magmatism in the study area and identification of genetic associations between magmatism and mineralizing processes in this region.

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USGS Numbered Series
Modal Composition and Age of Intrusions in North-Central and Northeast Nevada
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Data Series
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Version 1.0
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U.S. Geological Survey
iii, 16 p.; map/plate (45x39 in); download directory
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