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Geologic Map of the southern Inyo Mountains and vicinity, Inyo County, California

December 8, 2009

The Inyo Mountains are located in east-central California between Owens Valley on the west and Saline Valley on the east. This map encompasses the southernmost part of the Inyo Mountains and vicinity, which is centered on the high plateau of Conglomerate Mesa and extends from Owens Valley on the west to the Santa Rosa Hills, Lee Flat, and the Nelson Range on the east. The area includes parts of the Cerro Gordo Peak, Nelson Range, Keeler, and Santa Rosa Flat 7.5' quadrangles.

Sedimentary and volcanic rocks, unconformities, and structural features exposed in the southern Inyo Mountains region provide information critical for reconstructing the complex Paleozoic and Mesozoic tectonic evolution of the southwestern United States. Ordovician to Cretaceous rocks in the map area record a long geologic history during which the continental margin of the western United States gradually changed from a passive tectonic setting in the early and middle Paleozoic to an active tectonic setting in the Jurassic and Cretaceous. A major highlight of the map area is the unusually complete record of late Paleozoic to earliest Mesozoic (Pennsylvanian to Triassic) deformation and sedimentation that marked the transition between the passive and active margin settings. The area also provides an excellent record of Jurassic to Cretaceous deformation and igneous activity that characterized the middle to late Mesozoic active margin. This map provides a detailed depiction of all the Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks and structural features known in the area. The area also contains important exposures of upper Cenozoic rocks related to the evolution of the Basin and Range province, although detailed mapping of these rocks was beyond the scope of this study.

Publication Year 2009
Title Geologic Map of the southern Inyo Mountains and vicinity, Inyo County, California
DOI 10.3133/sim3094
Authors Paul Stone, Brian J. Swanson, Calvin H. Stevens, George C. Dunne, Susan S. Priest
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Map
Series Number 3094
Index ID sim3094
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Region Geology and Geophysics Science Center