Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Lithostratigraphic framework in boreholes from Goldstone Lake and Nelson Lake Basins, Fort Irwin, California

December 14, 2018

In 2011 and 2012, the sedimentary basins in the Fort Irwin National Training Center, California, were evaluated for groundwater resources using a variety of techniques, including drilling of boreholes. This study summarizes lithostratigraphic features and deposits in 8 of 10 boreholes drilled in 2 basins located in the western part of Fort Irwin. The western part of Fort Irwin straddles the eastern edge of the Miocene Eagle Crags volcanic field; therefore, many of the rocks penetrated in the boreholes are primary volcanic deposits (lava flow, pyroclastic flow, and fallout tephra deposits) and tuffaceous or lithic-rich sedimentary rocks (siltstone to cobble conglomerates) deposited in alluvial, fluvial, lacustrine, and possibly groundwater discharge environments. Boreholes were drilled with mud-rotary techniques that result in cuttings samples, and only two to four cores ranging in length from 3 to 5 feet (ft) were collected in each borehole.

Correlation of lithostratigraphic features to borehole geophysical logs (especially gamma and resistivity) helps to establish properties of the rock and enables identification of depositional sequences of similar rock types. Lithostratigraphic features and resistivity in boreholes compare reasonably well to nearby time-domain electromagnetic sounding (resistivity) model results.

There is no direct age control on the rocks penetrated in the boreholes. The abundance of tuffaceous material as primary or slightly redeposited matrix is used to identify rocks deposited during the activity of the Eagle Crags volcanic field in the Miocene. In contrast, sedimentary rocks composed of detrital and epiclastic grains (only a few of which are tuffaceous rocks as clasts) are inferred to have been deposited during the Quaternary or Pliocene(?). The lithostratigraphic-based estimates of relative age indicate the typical thickness of the Quaternary or Pliocene(?) deposits is 70–170 ft, and that several water-bearing horizons are probable in the Miocene(?) section.

Publication Year 2018
Title Lithostratigraphic framework in boreholes from Goldstone Lake and Nelson Lake Basins, Fort Irwin, California
DOI 10.3133/ofr20131024D
Authors David C. Buesch
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2013-1024
Index ID ofr20131024D
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center