Gravity and magnetic surveys were performed along the western flanks of the Santa Rita Mountain range located in southeastern Arizona to develop an understanding of the relationship between surface fault scarps within the basin fill sediments and theirgeophysical response of the faults at depth within the bedrock. Data were acquired for three profiles, one of them along the northern terrace of Montosa Canyon, and the other two along the northern and southern terraces of Cottonwood Canyon. A total of 122 gravity stations were established as well as numerous magnetic data collected by a truckmounted cesium-vapor magnetometer. In addition, aeromagnetic data previously acquired were interpreted to obtain a geologically sound model, which produced a good fit to the data.
Gravity anomalies associated with faults exhibiting surface rupture were more pronounced than the respective magnetic anomalies. More credence was given to the gravity data when determining fault structures and it was found in all three profiles that faults at depth projected through alluvium at a steeper dip than the bedrock fault indicating brittle behavior within the overlying sediments. The gravity data also detected a significant horst and graben structure within Cottonwood Canyon. The aeromagnetic data did not provide any insight into the response of the minor faults but rather served to verify the regional response of the whole profile.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Relationship of faults in basin sediments to the gravity and magnetic expression of their underlying fault systems
U.S. Geological Survey
Geology, Minerals, Energy and Geophysics Science Center