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Fault-influenced incision in western Grand Canyon, Arizona U.S.A.

May 1, 2022

Preliminary interpretation of new and updated incision rates in western Grand Canyon shows the effects of Quaternary faulting, which dampens river incision rates in the footwalls and amplifies them in the hanging walls of normal faults. In the reach between Lava Falls and Diamond Creek in western Grand Canyon, about 178 to 225 river miles downstream from Lees Ferry, the river crosses the neotectonically active Hurricane and Toroweap faults. For this reach, we offer a preliminary analysis of 23 new and updated incision rates determined from new U-Th dating of travertine associated with perched river gravel and previously published 40Ar/39Ar ages on intracanyon basalt flows that overlie river gravel. Results reveal diminished incision rates downstream of both the Hurricane and Toroweap faults, indicating the presence and geometry of hanging-wall anticlines with wavelengths of about 10 km. Upstream of the faults, increased incision rates are interpreted to represent localized footwall uplifts and/or regional block uplift, which could contribute to the overall uplift of the Colorado Plateau.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Fault-influenced incision in western Grand Canyon, Arizona U.S.A.
Authors Ryan S. Crow, Karl Karlstrom, Warren Sharp, Victor Polyak, Yemane Asmerom, Laura Crossey
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70235786
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center