Stratigraphic and volcano-tectonic relations of Crater Flat Tuff and some older volcanic units, Nye County, Nevada

Open-File Report 84-114
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy
By: , and 



The Crater Flat Tuff is herein revised to include a newly recognized lowest unit, the Tram Member, exposed at scattered localities in the southwest Nevada Test Site region, and in several drill holes in the Yucca Mountain area. The overlying Bullfrog and Prow Pass Members are well exposed at the type locality of the formation near the southeast edge of Crater Flat, just north of U.S. Highway 95. In previous work, the Tram Member was thought to be the Bullfrog Member, and therefore was shown as Bullfrog or as undifferentiated Crater Flat Tuff on published maps. The revised Crater Flat Tuff is stratigraphically below the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff and above the Grouse Canyon Member of the Belted Range Tuff, and is approximately 13.6 m.y. old.

Drill holes on Yucca Mountain and near Fortymile Wash penetrate all three members of the Crater Flat as well as an underlying quartz-poor unit, which is herein defined as the Lithic Ridge Tuff from exposures on Lithic Ridge near the head of Topopah Wash. In outcrops between Calico Hills and Yucca Flat, the Lithic Ridge Tuff overlies a Bullfrog-like unit of reverse magnetic polarity that probably correlates with a widespread unit around and under Yucca Flat, referred to previously as Crater Flat Tuff. This unit is here informally designated as the tuff of Yucca Flat. Although older, it may be genetically related to the Crater Flat Tuff.

Although the rocks are poorly exposed, geophysical and geologic evidence to date suggests that (1) the source of the Crater Flat Tuff is a caldera complex in the Crater Flat area between Yucca Mountain and Bare Mountain, and (2) there are at least two cauldrons within this complex--one probably associated with eruption of the Tram, the other with the Bullfrog and Prow Pass Members. The complex is named the Crater Flat-Prospector Pass caldera complex. The northern part of the Yucca Mountain area is suggested as the general location of the source of pre-Crater Flat tuffs, but a caldera related to the Lithic Ridge Tuff has not been specifically identified.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Stratigraphic and volcano-tectonic relations of Crater Flat Tuff and some older volcanic units, Nye County, Nevada
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 84-114
DOI 10.3133/ofr84114
Year Published 1984
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Denver, CO
Description ii, 97 p.
Country United States
State Nevada
County Nye County
Other Geospatial Crater Flat Tuff