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Late Cenozoic deformation by evaporite tectonism in the Grand Hogback monocline, southwest of the White River uplift, Colorado

October 29, 2002

Along 50 km of the complex, southwest-dipping, Laramide Grand Hogback monocline, which wraps around the southwest flank of the White River uplift in westcentral Colorado, detailed mapping provides evidence of late Cenozoic collapse that resulted from subsurface flow, diapirism, and dissolution of Pennsylvanian Eagle Valley Evaporite. Numerous discontinuous, small-amplitude, strike-parallel folds and steeply dipping faults that overlie the evaporite are interpreted as the result of both flow-induced and dissolution-induced collapse and diapirism concentrated along cross-strike, radial valleys draining the uplift. Folding of an immature Pliocene conglomerate into a tight syncline by collapse into an underlying diapir emphasizes the young age of evaporite tectonism. Major evaporite diapirs in valleys penetrate overlying Pennsylvanian Eagle Valley and Pennsylvanian-Permian Maroon Formations. In the absence of a Miocene basaltic datum used to quantify collapse elsewhere in west-central Colorado, we quantify removal of evaporite by contrasting estimated original evaporite thicknesses with thicknesses of remaining evaporite based on surface structural control and cross section construction. We estimate that ∼40 km3 of evaporite were removed along the southwest flank, the majority of which came from cross-strike valleys and a minority from intervening drainage divides. The mechanism for initiation of flow of evaporite is interpreted to be late Cenozoic regional uplift and accompanying deep incision of valleys draining the White River uplift. Unloading of evaporite beneath these valleys channeled evaporite to flow northward up dip to diapirically extrude from overlying Maroon and Eagle Valley Formations. Laramide monoclinal structures change gradually along strike from a single monocline, which produced a complexly folded back thrust, to double monoclines stacked on one another, which are located close to bends in the flank of the uplift.

Publication Year 2002
Title Late Cenozoic deformation by evaporite tectonism in the Grand Hogback monocline, southwest of the White River uplift, Colorado
DOI 10.1130/0-8137-2366-3.121
Authors Robert B. Scott, Bruce Bryant, William J. Perry
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Special Paper of the Geological Society of America
Index ID 70206326
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse