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Geophysical and geologic maps of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada

October 11, 2018

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3412 is a series of products that consists of geophysical and geologic maps of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California. Maps A and B (red outline in above map image) are gravity and aeromagnetic maps, respectively. The map series was begun as part of an effort to study regional crustal structures as an aid to understanding the geologic framework and mineral resources of the southeast Mojave Desert.

Mountain Pass resides within the southeast Mojave Desert, and it is host to a one of the world’s largest rare earth element carbonatite deposits. The deposit is found along a north-northwest- trending, fault-bounded block that extends along the eastern parts of the Clark Mountain Range, Mescal Range, and Ivanpah Mountains. This Paleoproterozoic block is composed of a 1.7-Ga metamorphic complex of gneiss and schist that underwent widespread metamorphism and associated plutonism during the Ivanpah orogeny. The Paleoproterozoic rocks were intruded by a Mesoproterozoic (1.4 Ga) ultrapotassic alkaline intrusive suite and carbonatite body. The intrusive rocks include, from oldest to youngest, shonkinite, mesosyenite, syenite, quartz syenite, potassic granite, carbonatite, carbonatite dikes, and late shonkinite dikes.

Each map in the series provides the basis for geophysical and geologic interpretations of the Mountain Pass carbonatite terrane. Combined, they provide a comprehensive framework of the regional subsurface geologic structure of the area. Together, they form the first publicly available series of geophysical and geologic maps of this part of the southeast Mojave Desert.

Publication Year 2018
Title Geophysical and geologic maps of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada
DOI 10.3133/sim3412
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Map
Series Number 3412
Index ID sim3412
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center