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Geologic map of the Silver Zone Pass quadrangle, Elko County, Nevada

January 16, 2023

This 1:24,000-scale geologic map of the Silver Zone Pass quadrangle lies in the southern Toano Range in Elko County, Nevada. Metamorphic and sedimentary strata of the quadrangle range from Neoproterozoic to Permian in age. Important intrusions include the Late Jurassic (ca. 159 Ma) Silver Zone Pass pluton and Cretaceous Toano Spring pluton. In particular, the Silver Zone Pass pluton involves undeformed dikes that crosscut metamorphic foliations and the pluton is associated with pluton-margin anticlines. Interpretation of these characteristics suggests that the pluton was syn-kinematic with respect to metamorphism and strain, thus requiring a phase of Late Jurassic deformation. A Miocene rhyolite lava is of particular interest as one of the few topaz-bearing volcanic rocks in Nevada. A major detachment fault places non-metamorphosed Paleozoic rocks over low-grade Paleozoic and Proterozoic rocks. High-angle normal faults tilted the range in several blocks, and Miocene Humboldt Formation were deposited on, and faulted against, bedrock. Rocks of the Toano Range are bounded by broad valleys on the east and west, with the eastern basin being at much lower elevation than the western basin. Pleistocene lakes, which created distinctive beach deposits, occupied both basins, with Lake Bonneville on the east and Lake Waring on the west. Silver Zone Pass owes its low relief to the enhanced weathering and erosion of the rock within the pass, a granodiorite pluton. The weathering has created some unusual landforms such as tors.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Geologic map of the Silver Zone Pass quadrangle, Elko County, Nevada
Authors David M. Miller, Linda L. Berg
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype State or Local Government Series
Series Title Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Map
Series Number 192
Index ID 70239739
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center