Award Date

5-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geoscience

Advisor 1

Catherine M. Snelson, Chair

First Committee Member

Wanda J. Taylor

Second Committee Member

Eugene I. Smith

Third Committee Member

Michael G. Pravica

Abstract

The Black Hills fault (BHF) is a SE-dipping normal fault forming the northwestern structural boundary of the Eldorado basin, ∼20 km southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada (Langenheim and Schmidt, 1996). The fault offsets Holocene strata and is thus considered to be active (Fossett, 2005). Therefore, the BHF poses a significant seismic hazard to the greater Las Vegas area.

Fossett (2005) estimated that the BHF is capable of producing a M W 6.4 to 6.8 earthquake. However, this suggests a subsurface rupture length greater than the scarp length (Fossett, 2005). To test this hypothesis, remote sensing, geologic mapping, and high-resolution seismic reflection survey were utilized. The result is an interpretive geologic cross-section showing several SE-dipping normal faults on strike with the BHF. This implies that the BHF may be >6 km in length. In addition, several models are proposed to explain the anomalous orientation of the BHF relative to other normal faults in the area.

Keywords

Faults (Geology); Nevada – Black Hills fault; Nevada – Las Vegas Valley

Disciplines

Geology | Geophysics and Seismology | Tectonics and Structure

Language

English

Comments

Signatures have been redacted for privacy and security measures.


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