Deformation of the Roberts Mountains Allochthon in north-central Nevada

Professional Paper 1060




During the Antler orogeny in Late Devonian and Early Mississippian time, early and middle Paleozoic siliceous rocks, largely chert and sha1e, were thrust eastward for 90 to 160 km over coexisting carbonate rocks. Minor and major structures of two small areas of the allochthon at Battle Mountain and in the southern Tuscarora Mountains were studied in order to characterize the deformation and test the consistency of the movement plan with respect to the large eastward displacement. In the Battle Mountain area, the lower Paleozoic Scott Canyon and Valmy Formations were deformed in the Antler orogeny but were unaffected by later tectonism during late Paleozoic or early Mesozoic. In the southern Tuscarora Mountains area, the Ordovician and Silurian siliceous rocks deformed in the Antler Orogeny were deformed by later, possibly Mesozoic, folding and thrusting. Most of the minor folding visible in the allochthon is in the cheret, but proportionally more of the strain was taken up in the shale and argillite, both poorly exposed but predominant rock types. Most minor folds, concentric in form, plunge at small angles to the north-northeast and south-southwest with steeply dipping or vertical axial planes. The b-fabric axis, parallel to these folds, is identical apparently to the B-kinematic axis. The horizontal component of tectonic shortening of the allochthon, N. 70?-75? W. both in the Battle Mountain area and in the southern Tuscarora Mountains area, is therefore consistent with an eastward direction of movement of the allochthon. Folds with west- northwest trends locally present in the allochthon, may have formed in the direction of tectonic transport. In the southern Tuscarora Mountains, local strain in and below the allochthon was different from the prevailing strain in the allochthon, and tectonic shortening was locally at large angles to the accepted direction of movement of the allochthon.

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Deformation of the Roberts Mountains Allochthon in north-central Nevada
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Professional Paper
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U.S. Govt. Print. Off.,
18 p.