Strike-slip faulting along the Wassuk Range of the northern Walker Lane, Nevada

Dong S., Ucarkus G., WESNOUSKY S. G., MALONEY J., KENT G., DRISCOLL N., ...More

GEOSPHERE, vol.10, no.1, pp.40-48, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1130/ges00912.1
  • Journal Name: GEOSPHERE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.40-48
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


A strike-slip fault is present outboard and subparallel to the Wassuk Range front within the central Walker Lane (Nevada, USA). Recessional shorelines of pluvial Lake Lahontan that reached its highstand ca. 15,475 +/- 720 cal. yr B.P. are displaced similar to 14 m and yield a right-lateral slip-rate estimate approaching 1 mm/yr. The strike-slip fault trace projects southeastward toward the eastern margin of Walker Lake, which is similar to 15 km to the southeast. The trace is obscured in this region by recessional shorelines features that record the historical dessication of the lake caused by upstream water diversion and consumption. High-resolution seismic CHIRP (compressed high intensity radar pulse) profiles acquired in Walker Lake reveal similar to 20 k.y. of stratigraphy that is tilted westward similar to 20-30 m to the Wassuk Range front, consistent with similar to 1.0-1.5 mm/yr (20-30 m/20 k.y.) of vertical displacement on the main range-bounding normal fault. Direct evidence of the northwest-trending right-lateral strike-slip fault is not observed, although a set of folds and faults trending N35 degrees E, conjugate to the trend of the strike-slip fault observed to the north, is superimposed on the west-dipping strata. The pattern and trend of folding and faulting beneath the lake are not simply explained; they may record development of Riedel shears in a zone of northwest-directed strike slip. Regardless of their genesis, the faults and folds appear to have been inactive during the past similar to 10.5 k.y. These observations begin to reconcile what was a mismatch between geodetically predicted deformation rates and geological fault slip rate studies along the Wassuk Range front, and provide another example of strain partitioning between predominantly normal and strike-slip faults that occurs in regions of oblique extension such as the Walker Lane.