Thesis

Post-middle pliocene tectonic development of the Noble Hills, southern Death Valley, California

The Noble Hills Formation (NHF) is a ~500 m conformable sequence of generally coarsening-upwards ≥3.34 Ma basin deposits that is extensively exposed the Noble Hills, southern Death Valley, California. The NHF contains sediments derived from both the Owlshead Mountains to the north and Avawatz Mountains to the south. Strata of the NHF display intensive, post-3.34 Ma, northeast-vergent contractional deformation that has previously been interpreted as secondary to contractional deformation along the southern Death Valley fault zone (SDVFZ). Structural and strati graphic relations and provenance considerations bring into question previous interpretations of large-magnitude, rightlateral offset on the SDVFZ in the Noble Hills. Northeast-vergent contractional deformation in the Noble Hills and greater southern Death Valley is viewed as being driven by clockwise rotation of the northeast Mojave domain about an axis in the Avawatz Mountains, resulting in northeast-directed block movements north of the Garlock fault.

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