Testing a kinematic and geometric fault slip transfer model: Geologic and LIDAR mapping and 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology in the northern Eastern California Shear Zone, California

Kevin M. DeLano
May 2014

Purpose and Introduction

The spatial and temporal distribution of strain across the Walker Lane Belt (WLB) – Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ), which accommodates ~20% of Pacific-North America plate motion, is a major tectonic question. To characterize the evolution of fault kinematics and determine the mechanisms of intracontinental deformation, geologists compare geodetic and geologic slip rates. Across the northern ECSZ, at 37.5°N-38°N, the sum of geologically determined fault slip rates is ~33% of the geodetically determined NW dextral shear rate (Frankel et al., 2011). To resolve part of this discrepancy, Nagorsen-Rinke et al. (2013) proposed a kinematic fault slip transfer model whereby NW dextral shear is transferred from the Owens Valley fault (OVF) north-northwest to the Mina deflection via undocumented slip. To test this model, I will accomplish new field geologic mapping and structural, kinematic, and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology studies to determine the faulting and volcanic histories of the Black Mountain area and LiDAR mapping of faults in the Volcanic Tableland. I will use anticipated Pliocene to Pleistocene fault slip rates for the Black Mountain area and Volcanic Tableland to address regional tectonic questions, including the discrepancy between geodetic and geologic fault slip rates, the spatial and temporal distribution of strain in the northern ECSZ, and the relative contributions of geodynamic forces driving deformation at the northern margin of the ECSZ.

Full Thesis Proposal (PDF format)