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Geologic Map of the Sheep Hole Mountains 30' x 60' Quadrangle, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, California

June 1, 2002

This data set describes and maps the geology of the Sheep Hole Mountains 30' x 60' quadrangle in southern California. The quadrangle covers an area of the Mojave Desert characterized by desert ranges separated by broad basins. Ranges include parts of the Old Woman, Ship, Iron, Coxcomb, Pinto, Bullion, and Calumet mountains as well as Lead Mountain and the Kilbeck Hills. Basins include part of Ward Valley, part of Cadiz Valley including Cadiz Lake playa, and broad valleys occupied by the Bristol Lake and Dale Lake playas. Bedrock geologic units in the ranges range in age from Proterozoic to Quaternary. The valleys expose Neogene and Quaternary deposits.
Proterozoic granitoids in the quadrangle include the Early Proterozoic Fenner Gneiss, Kilbeck Gneiss, Dog Wash Gneiss, granite of Joshua Tree, the (highly peraluminous granite) gneiss of Dry Lakes valley, and a Middle Proterozoic granite. Proterozoic supracrustal rocks include the Pinto Gneiss of Miller (1938) and the quartzite of Pinto Mountain. Early Proterozoic orogeny left an imprint of metamorphic mineral assemblages and fabrics in the older rocks.

A Cambrian to Triassic sequence deposited on the continental shelf lies above a profound nonconformity developed on the Proterozoic rocks. Small metamorphosed remnants of this sequence in the quadrangle include rocks correlated to the Tapeats, Bright Angel, Bonanza King, Redwall, Bird Spring, Hermit, Coconino, Kaibab, and Moenkopi formations. The Dale Lake Volcanics (Jurassic), and the McCoy Mountains Formation of Miller (1944)(Cretaceous and Jurassic?) are younger Mesozoic synorogenic supracrustal rocks in the quadrangle.

Mesozoic intrusions form much of the bedrock in the quadrangle, and represent a succession of magmatic arcs. The oldest rock is the Early Triassic quartz monzonite of Twentynine Palms. Extensive Jurassic magmatism is represented by large expanses of granitoids that range in composition from gabbro to syenogranite. They include the Virginia May Quartz Monzonite and other members of the Bullion Intrusive Suite, the Chubbock Porphyry, and rocks that form the Goat Basin pluton, Music Valley pluton, and Ship Mountains pluton. The Jurassic plutons range in emplacement depths from mid-crustal to hypabysasal. Mafic and felsic dikes that probably are part of the Late Jurassic Independence dike swarm intrude the Jurassic batholithic rocks.

A Mesozoic ductile fault (tectonic slide), the Scanlon thrust, places an inverted sequence of lower Paleozoic rocks and their Proterozoic basement over a lower plate of younger Paleozoic and Triassic rocks. The lower- plate rocks are internally sliced and folded. They in turn are superposed along an attenuation tectonic slide, the Kilbeck fault, over highly strained tectonic schist. The major tectonic slides and associated fabrics are cut by Late Cretaceous batholithic rocks.

Widespread Late Cretaceous granitoids assigned to the Cadiz Valley batholith and the Old-Woman Piute Range batholith together form a contiguous super-unit of granite and granodiorite compositions. The Old- Woman Piute Range batholith includes the granite of Sweetwater Wash in the Painted Rock pluton and the Old Woman Mountains Granodiorite forming the Old Woman pluton. The large Cadiz Valley batholith is divided into the Iron Mountains Intrusive Suite and the Coxcomb Intrusive Suite. The Iron Mountains Intrusive Suite includes the Granite Pass Granite (which forms the Granite Pass pluton), the Danby Lake Granite Gneiss, and the Iron Granodiorite Gneiss. The Coxcomb Intrusive Suite consists of many units including the Clarks Pass Granodiorite, the Sheep Hole Mountains Granodiorite (forms the Sheep Hole Mountains pluton), and the Sheep Hole Pass Granite (forms the Sheep Hole Pass pluton). The Cretaceous rocks were emplaced at a range of deep to shallow depths, and their intrusion resulted in an aureole 2-3 km wide in older rocks. Mylonitic fabrics developed through a thickness of >1.3 km, together

Publication Year 2002
Title Geologic Map of the Sheep Hole Mountains 30' x 60' Quadrangle, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, California
DOI 10.3133/mf2344
Authors Keith A. Howard
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Miscellaneous Field Studies Map
Series Number 2344
Index ID mf2344
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Earth Surface Processes