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Pennsylvanian-Permian Tectonism in the Great Basin: the Dry Mountain Trough and Related Basins

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

Pennsylvanian-Permian tectonism affected the continental margin of western North America from the Yukon to the Mojave Desert. Specific signatures of this tectonism include local angular unconformities, regional disconformities, renewed outpouring of clastic debris from a reactivated Antler and related highlands, and development of deeper water basins with anoxic sediments deposited below wave base. The basins formed include Ishbel trough (Canada), the Wood River basin (Idaho), Cassia basin, Ferguson trough, Dry Mountain trough (all Nevada), and unnamed basins in Death Valley-Mojave Desert region.

The Dry Mountain trough (DMT) was initiated during early Wolfcampian and received up to 1200 m of sediment by the late Leonardian. The lower contact is a regional unconformity with the Ely Limestone, or locally with the Diamond Peak or Vinini formations. Thus, following a period of localized regional uplift that destroyed the Ely basin, portions of the uplifted and exposed shelf subsided creating the Dry Mountain trough. Evidence suggesting a tectonic origin for the DMT includes (1) high subsidence rates (60-140 m/m.y.); (2) renewed influx of coarse clastic debris from the Antler highlands; (3) possible pre-Early Permian folding, thrusting, and tilting within the highlands; and (4) differential subsidence within the Dry Mountain trough, suggesting the existence of independent fault bl cks.


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