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Alamo impact olistoliths in Antler orogenic foreland, Warm Springs–Milk Spring area, Hot Creek Range, central Nevada

December 31, 2015

The 45 km2 map area is situated at the south end of the Hot Creek Range in central Nevada, ~16 km east of the buried leading edge of the Mississippian Roberts Mountains thrust. Three eastward-trending left-slip faults divide the area into four structural blocks. The southernmost block is occupied solely by upper Oligocene volcanic rocks. The narrow northernmost block, now occupied surficially by valley fill and volcanic rocks, represents the south end of the main part of the Hot Creek Range, from which the study area is offset. The middle two blocks display different aspects of the eastward-traveled outer crater rim created by the ca. 382 Ma (early Late Devonian, middle Frasnian) Alamo impact.

The Alamo impact was produced by a 5-km-diameter bolide, most likely a comet, which excavated a transient submarine crater 44–65 km in diameter. Comparison of thin (8–12 m) Alamo Breccia deposits in the northern of the middle two blocks with a more easterly, thick (35–42 m) Alamo deposit in the main Hot Creek Range, 4 km north of the map area, suggests that these blocks traveled many kilometers eastward. The northern of the middle two blocks contains a large olistolith capped by the thin breccia, whereas the southern block contains a larger olistolith lacking an Alamo Breccia cap.

Three Devonian pulses of the Antler orogeny are better documented in the chapter on the Bisoni-McKay area. Here, the first Antler pulse in latest Middle Devonian time is obscured within an ~9 m.y. hiatus enlarged by excavation of the Alamo impact crater. The second Antler pulse is recorded by the ~4 m.y. hiatus produced by the regional unconformity between the lower and upper members of the Woodruff Formation. The third Antler pulse is documented by an ~8 m.y. regional hiatus between the Mississippian Webb Formation and Upper Devonian Woodruff Formation. In previous papers, we had interpreted this pulse to initiate the Antler orogeny.

Publication Year 2015
Title Alamo impact olistoliths in Antler orogenic foreland, Warm Springs–Milk Spring area, Hot Creek Range, central Nevada
DOI 10.1130/2015.2517(02)
Authors Forrest G. Poole, Charles Sandberg
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Series Title GSA Special Papers
Index ID 70193220
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center