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Cauldron subsidence near Mount Lewis, Nevada: A misconception

May 1, 1977

The map and interpretation of the geology of the Mount Lewis quadrangle, northern Shoshone Range, Nev., contained in U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 465 (1965) have recently been criticized and reinterpreted by C. T. Wrucke and M. L. Silberman in Professional Paper 876 (1975). I contend, however, that the reinterpretation ignores much cogent evidence and is quite inconsistent with the geometric disposition of the rocks. No justification exists for postulating a caldera.

The faults considered by Wrucke and Silberman to constitute the bounding faults of a caldera hence normal faults downthrown toward the "caldera" are in part nonexistent, in part a strike-slip fault formed concurrently with the Roberts thrust fault in Devonian and Mississippian time, and in part a listric thrust branching into the hanging wall of the main thrust. In short, the two real faults of Wrucke and Silberman's postulated caldera ring are about 200 million years older than the Oligocene volcanic rocks dated by Wrucke and Silberman. The paucity of dikes associated with the faults is thus readily understood, whereas it would be highly anomalous were the faults defining a caldera. The evidence for our thrust-fault interpretation was presented in the text, map, and sections of Professional Paper 465; further detail is included here. The evidence is clear and unequivocal: no caldera is here present.

Publication Year 1977
Title Cauldron subsidence near Mount Lewis, Nevada: A misconception
Authors James Gilluly
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Research of the U.S. Geological Survey
Index ID 70233528
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse