A USGS surficial geologic mapping project, focused on the arid Southwest USA, conducted mapping and process studies to investigate landscape development and tectonic evolution. This project included the Cuddeback Lake 1:100,000-scale quadrangle located in the western Mojave Desert north-northeast of Los Angeles, between the southern Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino Mountains, in Kern and San Bernardino Counties, California. Geomorphic features include high-relief mountains, small hills, volcanic domes, pediments, broad alluvial valleys, and dry lakes. The mapped area includes pre-Tertiary plutonic, metavolcanic, metasedimentary, and other metamorphic rocks; Tertiary sedimentary and volcanic rocks; and Quaternary sediments and basalts. Included in the area are the El Paso, Lockhart, Blackwater, and Muroc faults as well as the central segment of the Garlock fault zone. The tectonically active western Mojave Desert and the variety of surficial materials have resulted in distinctive geomorphic features and terrains.
Mapping has shown that the tectonically active area near the Garlock fault zone and El Paso Fault influenced development of drainage networks; base level is controlled by fault offset. There is evidence of a late Tertiary drainage network preserved in remnants of alluvial fans and paleo-drainage deposits north of the El Paso Mountains, west of the Lava Mountains, and south and west of the Rand Mountains. Faults identified as being active in the Holocene based on displaced stream channels, scarps, and shutter ridges include the Cantil Valley, Lockhart, Garlock, and Rand Mountain faults. Previously unmapped Holocene and late Pleistocene fault strands identified near the Rand Mountains may represent a splay at the northwest termination of the Lockhart Fault. The informally named Grass Valley fault, NW of Black Mountain, is a right-lateral strike-slip fault that may be a splay of the Blackwater Fault. Holocene activity on the Grass Valley fault is indicated by one displaced early Holocene stream terrace. Mapped faults in Fremont Valley are tentatively identified as surficial expressions of the buried Cantil Valley fault.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Surficial Geologic Map and Geodatabase of the Cuddeback Lake 30' x 60' Quadrangle, San Bernardino and Kern Counties, California
Western Earth Surface Processes
map, 70 by 36 inches; 30 p. pamphlet; database files