The Gold Creek, Nev. area displays important stratigraphic and structural relationships between Paleozoic and early Tertiary sedimentary strata in an area dominated by large intrusive bodies of Mesozoic age and extensive volcanic fields of middle to late Tertiary age. An autochthonous sequence includes the Cambrian and Proterozoic(?) Prospect Mountain Quartzite and the overlying Cambrian and Ordovician Tennessee Mountain Formation. This autochthon is overlain by three allochthonous plates each composed of a distinctive sequence of strata and having a distinctive internal structure. The structurally lowest plate is composed of the Havallah sequence, locally of Mississippian and Pennsylvanian age, which is folded on north-south trending axes. The next higher plate is composed of somewhat younger Pennsylvanian and Permian strata cut by east-west trending low-angle faults. The highest plate is composed of early Tertiary non-marine sedimentary and igneous rocks folded on varied but mainly north-south trending axes. The question of whether the allochthonous plates were emplaced by contractional or extensional forces is indeterminate from the local evidence.
Mineral deposits include gold placers of moderate size and small pockets of base metals, none of which is currently being exploited.