Relations between hinterland and foreland shortening: Sevier orogeny, central North American Cordillera
Taylor, Wanda J.
Bartley, John M.
Martin, Mark W.
Geissman, John W.
Walker, J. Douglas
Armstrong, Phillip A.
Fryxell, Joan E.
American Geophysical Union
Scholarly/refereed, publisher version
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The tectonic relations between foreland and hinterland deformation in noncollisional orogens are critical to understanding the overall development of orogens. The classic central Cordilleran foreland fold-and-thrust belt in the United States (Late Jurassic to early Tertiary Sevier belt) and the more internal zones to the west (central Nevada thrust belt) provide data critical to understanding the development of internal and external parts of orogens. The Garden Valley thrust system, part of the central Nevada thrust belt, crops out in south-central Nevada within a region generally considered to be the hinterland of the Jurassic to Eocene Sevier thrust belt. The thrust system consists of at least four principal thrust plates composed of strata as young as Pennsylvanian in age that are unconformably overlain by rocks as old as Oligocene, suggesting that contraction occurred between those times. New U/Pb dates on intrusions that postdate contraction, combined with new paleomagnetic data showing significant tilting of one area prior to intrusion, suggest that regionally these thrusts were active before ∼85–100 Ma. The thrust faults are characterized by long, relatively steeply dipping ramps and associated folds that are broad and open to close, upright and overturned. Although now fragmented by Cenozoic crustal extension, individual thrusts can be correlated from range to range for tens to hundreds of kilometers along strike. We correlate the structurally lowest thrust of the Garden Valley thrust system, the Golden Gate-Mount Irish thrust, southward with the Gass Peak thrust of southern Nevada. This correlation carries the following regional implications. At least some of the slip across Jurassic to mid-Cretaceous foreland thrusts in southern Nevada continues northward along the central Nevada thrust belt rather than northeastward into Utah. This continuation is consistent with age relations, which indicate that thrusts in the type Sevier belt in central Utah are synchronous with or younger than the youngest thrusts in southern Nevada. This in turn implies that geometrically similar Sevier belt thrusts in Utah must die out southward before they reach Nevada, that slip along the southern Nevada thrusts is partitioned between central Nevada and Utah thrusts, or that the Utah thrusts persist into southeastern Nevada but are located east of the longitude of the central Nevada thrust belt. As a result of overall cratonward migration of thrusting, the central Nevada thrust belt probably formed the Cordilleran foreland fold-thrust belt early in the shortening event but later lay in the hinterland of the Sevier fold-thrust belt of Idaho-Wyoming-Utah.
This is the published version. Copyright 2000 American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
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Taylor, W. J., J. M. Bartley, M. W. Martin, J. W. Geissman, J. D. Walker, P. A. Armstrong, and J. E. Fryxell (2000), Relations between hinterland and foreland shortening: Sevier orogeny, central North American Cordillera, Tectonics, 19(6), 1124–1143, http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/1999TC001141.
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