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Tectonic Implications of Facies Patterns, Lower Permian Dry Mountain Trough, East-Central Nevada

GALLEGOS, DORA M., WALTER S. SNYDER, and C. SPINOSA, Boise State University, Boise, ID

Paleozoic tectonism is indicated by a study of a west-east facies analysis transect across the northern portion of the Lower Permian Dry Mountain trough (DMT). In an attempt to characterize the Early Permian basin-filling sequences, three broadly recognizable facies packages have been identified across the DMT: the western margin facies and the central basin facies of the DMT and an eastern shelf facies.

In the western margin facies of the basin, pulses of tectonic activity are recorded at McCloud Spring in the Sulphur Springs Range. Here, shallow open-marine carbonate overlies eroded Vinini Formation and, in turn, is unconformably overlain by basinal marine carbonate. An unconformity also marks the contact with the overriding prograding coarse clastic facies. These abrupt transitions suggest the sediments were deposited in a tectonically active area where the preservation of Waltherian sequences is unlikely to occur.

Similarly abrupt transitions are evident in the western part of the central basin facies. At Portuguese Springs in the Diamond Range, a thin basal marine conglomerate delineates Lower Permian sedimentation over the Pennsylvanian Ely Formation. Coarsening-upward basinal carbonate strata of pelagic, hemipelagic, and turbidite components overlie the basal conglomerate. This progression of sediments is unconformably overlain by a subaerial sequence of coarse clastic deposits. Within the eastern part of the central basin facies in the Maverick Spring Range, the Lower Permian sediments are open-marine siltstone, wackestone, packstone, and grainstone. The sediments are assigned to a gradually sloping ramp, indicating the effects of tectonism on this margin of the basin were subdued.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91009©1991 AAPG-SEPM-SEG-SPWLA Pacific Section Annual Meeting, Bakersfield, California, March 6-8, 1991 (2009)