Investigating Oligocene-Miocene folded tuffs and extensional faults along the Buckhorn fault, Pahranagat shear zone, Nevada

Document Type



The Pahranagat Shear Zone (PSZ), positioned along the southern Nevada seismic belt and along the boundary between the Northern Basin and Range (NBR) and Central Basin and Range (CBR) sub provinces, consists of Cenozoic strike-slip faults with related normal faults. The Buckhorn Fault (BF), located in the center of the PSZ, and the Arrowhead Mine Fault (AMF), on the northern side of the PSZ, are two of the major left-lateral strike-slip faults in the zone. The development of a large, several kilometers across, syncline between the BF and AMF, in a region of general extension, needs explanation in order to understand the PSZ as a whole. We collected geometric and spatial data on the syncline and BF by mapping in the East Pahranagat Range at 1:12,000 scale. Map data and analyses support the following interpretations: (1) the BF had motion along it after the deposition of all the exposed Oligocene to Miocene tuffs including the youngest Kane Wash Tuff (~14.4 Ma), (2) the large syncline deforms the Tertiary tuff section as young as the Kane Wash Tuff, and (3) the BF and related normal faults cut the syncline.

UNLV article access