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Effect of faulting on ground-water movement in the Death Valley Region, Nevada and California

Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4132

Prepared in cooperation with the Nevada Operations Office, U.S. Department of Energy
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Abstract

This study characterizes the hydrogeologic system of the Death Valley region, an area covering approximately 100,000 square kilometers. The study also characterizes the effects of faults on ground-water movement in the Death Valley region by synthesizing crustal stress, fracture mechanics, and structural geologic data. The geologic conditions are typical of the Basin and Range Province; a variety of sedimentary and igneous intrusive and extrusive rocks have been subjected to both compressional and extensional deformation. Faulting and associated fracturing is pervasive and greatly affects ground-water flow patterns. Faults may become preferred conduits or barriers to flow depending on whether they are in relative tension, compression, or shear and other factors such as the degree of dislocations of geologic units caused by faulting, the rock types involved, the fault zone materials, and the depth below the surface.

The current crustal stress field was combined with fault orientations to predict potential effects of faults on the regional groundwater flow regime. Numerous examples of faultcontrolled ground-water flow exist within the study area. Hydrologic data provided an independent method for checking some of the assumptions concerning preferential flow paths.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Effect of faulting on ground-water movement in the Death Valley Region, Nevada and California
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
95-4132
Year Published:
1997
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Description:
Report: v, 42 p.; 1 Plate: 27.83 x 31.39 inches
Country:
United States
State:
California, Nevada
Other Geospatial:
Death Valley Region
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
Y