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dc.contributor.authorWernicke, Brian
dc.contributor.authorWalker, J. Douglas
dc.contributor.authorBeaufait, Mark S.
dc.identifier.citationWernicke, B., J. D. Walker, and M. S. Beaufait (1985), Structural discordance between neogene detachments and frontal sevier thrusts, central Mormon Mountains, southern Nevada, Tectonics, 4(2), 213–246,
dc.descriptionThis is the published version. Copyright 1985 American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.en_US
dc.description.abstractDetailed geologic mapping in the Mormon Mountains of southern Nevada provides significant insight into processes of extensional tectonics developed within older compressional orogens. A newly discovered, WSW-directed low-angle normal fault, the Mormon Peak detachment, juxtaposes the highest levels of the frontal most part of the east-vergent, Mesozoic Sevier thrust belt with autochthonous crystalline basement. Palinspastic analysis suggests that the detachment initially dipped 20–25° to the west and cut discordantly across thrust faults. Nearly complete lateral removal of the hanging wall from the area has exposed a 5 km thick longitudinal cross-section through the thrust belt in the footwall, while highly attenuated remnants of the hanging wall (nowhere more than a few hundred meters thick) structurally veneer the range. The present arched configuration of the detachment resulted in part from progressive “domino-style” rotation of a few degrees while it was active, but is largely due to rotation on younger, structurally lower, basement-penetrating normal faults that initiated at high-angle.

The geometry and kinematics of normal faulting in the Mormon Mountains suggest that pre-existing thrust planes are not required for the initiation of low-angle normal faults, and even where closely overlapped by extensional tectonism, need not function as a primary control of detachment geometry. Caution must thus be exercised in interpreting low-angle normal faults of uncertain tectonic heritage such as those seen in the COCORP west-central Utah and BIRP's MOIST deep-reflection profiles. Although thrust fault reactivation has reasonably been shown to be the origin of a very few low-angle normal faults, our results indicate that it may not be as fundamental a component of orogenic architecture as it is now widely perceived to be. We conclude that while in many instances thrust fault reactivation may be both a plausible and attractive hypothesis, it may never be assumed.
dc.publisherAmerican Geophysical Unionen_US
dc.titleStructural discordance between neogene detachments and frontal sevier thrusts, central Mormon Mountains, southern Nevadaen_US
kusw.kuauthorWalker, J. Douglas
kusw.oaversionScholarly/refereed, publisher version
kusw.oapolicyThis item does not meet KU Open Access policy criteria.

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