Recent crustal movements in the Sierra Nevada-Walker lane region of California-Nevada: Part i, rate and style of deformation


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This review of geological, seismological, geochronological and paleobotanical data is made to compare historic and geologic rates and styles of deformation of the Sierra Nevada and western Basin and Range Provinces. The main uplift of this region began about 17 m.y. ago, with slow uplift of the central Sierra Nevada summit region at rates estimated at about 0.012 mm/yr and of western Basin and Range Province at about 0.01 mm/yr. Many Mesozoic faults of the Foothills fault system were reactivated with normal slip in mid-Tertiary time and have continued to be active with slow slip rates. Sparse data indicate acceleration of rates of uplift and faulting during the Late Cenozoic. The Basin and Range faulting appears to have extended westward during this period with a reduction in width of the Sierra Nevada. The eastern boundary zone of the Sierra Nevada has an irregular en-echelon pattern of normal and right-oblique faults. The area between the Sierra Nevada and the Walker Lane is a complex zone of irregular patterns of ho??rst and graben blocks and conjugate normal-to right- and left-slip faults of NW and NE trend, respectively. The Walker Lane has at least five main strands near Walker Lake, with total right-slip separation estimated at 48 km. The NE-trending left-slip faults are much shorter than the Walker Lane fault zone and have maximum separations of no more than a few kilometers. Examples include the 1948 and 1966 fault zone northeast of Truckee, California, the Olinghouse fault (Part III) and possibly the almost 200-km-long Carson Lineament. Historic geologic evidence of faulting, seismologic evidence for focal mechanisms, geodetic measurements and strain measurements confirm continued regional uplift and tilting of the Sierra Nevada, with minor internal local faulting and deformation, smaller uplift of the western Basin and Range Province, conjugate focal mechanisms for faults of diverse orientations and types, and a NS to NE-SW compression axis (??1) and an EW to NW-SE extension axis (??3). ?? 1979.

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Recent crustal movements in the Sierra Nevada-Walker lane region of California-Nevada: Part i, rate and style of deformation
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