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Transfer Mechanisms and Temporal Variability of Strain Accommodation at the Northern Terminus of the Central Walker Lane

Chad Carlson
Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV, USA
[email protected]


Positioned between the Sierra Nevada microplate and Basin and Range, the Walker Lane-eastern California shear zone accommodates ~20% of the dextral motion between the North American and Pacific plates. This motion is predominately accommodated on NW-striking dextral and ENE to E-W-striking sinistral fault systems. The Terrill Mountains lie at the northern terminus of dextral faults allowing translation of crustal-blocks of the central Walker Lane and at the southeastern edge of sinistral faults accommodating oroclinal flexure and clockwise-rotation of blocks of the northern Walker Lane. The mechanisms of strain transfer between these disparate fault systems are poorly understood. The structural setting and thick Oligocene to Pliocene volcanic strata in the Terrill Mountains area make it an ideal location to study the transfer of strain between regions undergoing differing styles of deformation and yet both accommodating dextral shear. Detailed geologic mapping focused on the northern termination of the central Walker Lane fault system in conjunction with structural analysis, paleomagnetic studies, and geochronologic investigations will constrain the kinematic evolution of this portion of the Walker Lane, and elucidate the transfer mechanisms of dextral shear in a young and developing transform plate boundary.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90199 © 2014 AAPG Foundation 2014 Grants-in-Aid Projects