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Quaternary extensional growth folding beneath Reno, Nevada, imaged by urban seismic profiling

October 1, 2013

We characterize shallow subsurface faulting and basin structure along a transect through heavily urbanized Reno, Nevada, with high‐resolution seismic reflection imaging. The 6.8 km of P‐wave data image the subsurface to approximately 800 m depth and delineate two subbasins and basin uplift that are consistent with structure previously inferred from gravity modeling in this region of the northern Walker Lane. We interpret two primary faults that bound the uplift and deform Quaternary deposits. The dip of Quaternary and Tertiary strata in the western subbasin increases with greater depth to the east, suggesting recurrent fault motion across the westernmost of these faults. Deformation in the Quaternary section of the western subbasin is likely evidence of extensional growth folding at the edge of the Truckee River through Reno. This deformation is north of, and on trend with, previously mapped Quaternary fault strands of the Mt. Rose fault zone. In addition to corroborating the existence of previously inferred intrabasin structure, these data provide evidence for an active extensional Quaternary fault at a previously unknown location within the Truckee Meadows basin that furthers our understanding of both the seismotectonic framework and earthquake hazards in this urbanized region.

Publication Year 2013
Title Quaternary extensional growth folding beneath Reno, Nevada, imaged by urban seismic profiling
DOI 10.1785/0120120311
Authors William J. Stephenson, Roxy N. Frary, John Louie, Jackson K. Odum
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Index ID 70043866
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geologic Hazards Science Center