Lecture notes for Death Valley field
Some comments on taking notes
in the field.
Some major geographic features. It is useful to initially learn
some place-name geography, that can serve as a basic reference
frame for describing the geology. Below is a list of some major
- Black Mountains.
- Badwater Springs.
- Furnace Creek.
- Panamint Mntns.
- Funeral and Grapevine Mountains.
- Cottonwood Mountains.
- Stovepipe Wells.
- North Death Valley - Furnace Creek fault zone.
Basic geologic history of general
The outline below can provide a historic framework
to develop during the field trip. We should see rock from or evidence
for all the major elements below during our trip.
Ongoing and more recent events:
- Ubehebe craters form roughly 300 years ago.
- Lake Manly reborn from 35-10 ka
- Lake Manly existed from 186-120 ka, up to 600' thick.
- strike-slip faults active since several million years ago.
Basin and Range Extension:
- started at 16 Ma in Death valley area. Starts circa 36 Ma
- Furnace Creek basin from 16 Ma to 4 Ma.
- 12-11 Ma ago igneous activity started with intrusion of the
Willow Spring gabbro-diorite bodies.
Deformation, intrusion and metamorphism related to active margin
- intrusion of Sierran plutons (west side of Death Valley).
- major folding and thrusting.
Passive margin sedimentation.
- dominated by dolomites and limestones of Cambrian to Pennsylvanian
- Zabriskie quartzite a basal transgressive sequence.
- up to 6096 m thick.
Deposition of Pahrump Group on a stable platform:
- starts at 1.2 billion years.
- includes Kingston Peak glacio marine deposition - part of
the Vendian Snowball earth story for 600-800 million years ago.
- also have major Precambrian section in Grand Canyon Supergroup
Precambrian metamorphism and mountain building:
- metamorphic peak in crystalline basement rocks.
- there is a 1.4 billion year anorogenic granite.
Copyright Harmon D. Maher Jr., This may be
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is given. Otherwise, please contact me. Thank you.