Kattenhorn, S.A., Marshall, S.T., Cooke, M.L. (2008)

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Kinematically coupled strike-slip and normal faults in the Lake Mead strike-slip fault system, southeast Nevada


Eos, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 89(52), Fall Meeting Supplement, Abstract T41A-1951.

The Lake Mead fault system consists of a ~95 km long, northeast-trending zone of strike-slip faults of Miocene age that accommodate a total left-lateral offset of 20-65 km. We use a combination of detailed field mapping and numerical modeling to show that a previously unnamed left-lateral strike-slip segment of the Lake Mead fault system and a dense cluster of dominantly west-dipping normal faults acted in concert to accommodate regional left-lateral offset. We suggest that the strike-slip fault that we refer to as the Pinto Ridge fault: (1) was kinematically related to other faults of the Lake Mead fault system; (2) was responsible for the creation of the normal fault cluster at Pinto Ridge; and (3) utilized these normal faults as linking structures between separate strike-slip fault segments to create a longer, through-going fault. Results from numerical models demonstrate that the observed location and curving strike patterns of the normal fault cluster is consistent with the faults having formed as secondary structures as the result of the perturbed stress field around the slipping Pinto Ridge fault. Comparison of mechanical efficiency of various normal fault geometries within extending terranes suggests that the observed west dip of normal faults reflects a west- dipping anisotropy at depth, such as a detachment. The apparent terminations of numerous strike-slip faults of the Lake Mead fault system into west-dipping normal faults suggest that a west-dipping detachment may be regionally coherent.

External link: AGU database



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