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Interpretive geologic cross sections for the Death Valley regional flow system and surrounding areas, Nevada and California

November 1, 2001

This report presents a network of 28 geologic cross sections that portray subsurface geologic relations within the Death Valley regional ground-water system, a ground-water basin that encompasses a 3? x 3? area (approximately 70,000 km2) in southern Nevada and eastern California. The cross sections transect that part of the southern Great Basin that includes Death Valley, the Nevada Test Site, and the potential high-level nuclear waste underground repository at Yucca Mountain. The specific geometric relationships portrayed on the cross sections are discussed in the context of four general sub-regions that have stratigraphic similarities and general consistency of structural style: (1) the Nevada Test Site vicinity; (2) the Spring Mountains, Pahrump Valley and Amargosa Desert region; (3) the Death Valley region; and (4) the area east of the Nevada Test Site.
The subsurface geologic interpretations portrayed on the cross sections are based on an integration of existing geologic maps, measured stratigraphic sections, published cross sections, well data, and geophysical data and interpretations. The estimated top of pre-Cenozoic rocks in the cross sections is based on inversion of gravity data, but the deeper parts of the sections are based on geologic conceptual models and are more speculative.
The region transected by the cross sections includes part of the southern Basin and Range Province, the northwest-trending Walker Lane belt, the Death Valley region, and the northern Mojave Desert. The region is structurally complex, where a locally thick Tertiary volcanic and sedimentary section unconformably overlies previously deformed Proterozoic through Paleozoic rocks. All of these rocks have been deformed by complex Neogene ex-tensional normal and strike-slip faults. These cross sections form a three-dimensional network that portrays the interpreted stratigraphic and structural relations in the region; the sections form part of the geologic framework that will be incorporated in a complex numerical model of ground-water flow in the Death Valley region.

Publication Year 2001
Title Interpretive geologic cross sections for the Death Valley regional flow system and surrounding areas, Nevada and California
DOI 10.3133/mf2370
Authors D. S. Sweetkind, R. P. Dickerson, R. J. Blakely, Paul Denning
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Miscellaneous Field Studies Map
Series Number 2370
Index ID mf2370
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse