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The Death Valley Turtlebacks Reinterpreted as Miocene-Pliocene Folds of a Major Detachment Surface
Daniel K. Holm, Robert J. Fleck and Daniel R. Lux
The Journal of Geology
Vol. 102, No. 6 (Nov., 1994), pp. 718-727
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30065646
Page Count: 10
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Determining the origin of extension parallel folds in metamorphic core complexes is fundamental to understanding the development of detachment faults. An excellent example of such a feature occurs in the Death Valley region of California where a major, undulatory, detachment fault is exposed along the well-known turtleback (antiformal) surfaces of the Black Mountains. In the hanging wall of this detachment fault are deformed strata of the Copper Canyon Formation. New age constraints indicate that the Copper Canyon Formation was deposited from ~6 to 3 Ma. The formation was folded during deposition into a SE-plunging syncline with an axial surface coplanar with that of a synform in the underlying detachment. This relation suggests the turtlebacks are a folded detachment surface formed during large-scale extension in an overall constrictional strain field. The present, more planar, Black Mountains frontal fault system may be the result of out-stepping of a normal fault system away from an older detachment fault that was deactivated by folding.
The Journal of Geology © 1994 The University of Chicago Press