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Cosmogenic ^(10)Be and ^(36)Cl geochronology of offset alluvial fans along the northern Death Valley fault zone: Implications for transient strain in the eastern California shear zone

Frankel, Kurt L. and Brantley, Katherine S. and Dolan, James F. and Finkel, Robert C. and Klinger, Ralph E. and Knott, Jeffrey R. and Machette, Michael N. and Owen, Lewis A. and Phillips, Fred M. and Slate, Janet L. and Wernicke, Brian P. (2007) Cosmogenic ^(10)Be and ^(36)Cl geochronology of offset alluvial fans along the northern Death Valley fault zone: Implications for transient strain in the eastern California shear zone. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 112 (B6). Art. No. B06407. ISSN 0148-0227. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140721-100630734

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Abstract

The northern Death Valley fault zone (NDVFZ) has long been recognized as a major right-lateral strike-slip fault in the eastern California shear zone (ECSZ). However, its geologic slip rate has been difficult to determine. Using high-resolution digital topographic imagery and terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide dating, we present the first geochronologically determined slip rate for the NDVFZ. Our study focuses on the Red Wall Canyon alluvial fan, which exposes clean dextral offsets of seven channels. Analysis of airborne laser swath mapping data indicates ∼297 ± 9 m of right-lateral displacement on the fault system since the late Pleistocene. In situ terrestrial cosmogenic ^(10)Be and ^(36)Cl geochronology was used to date the Red Wall Canyon fan and a second, correlative fan also cut by the fault. Beryllium 10 dates from large cobbles and boulders provide a maximum age of 70 +22/−20 ka for the offset landforms. The minimum age of the alluvial fan deposits based on ^(36)Cl depth profiles is 63 ± 8 ka. Combining the offset measurement with the cosmogenic ^(10)Be date yields a geologic fault slip rate of 4.2 +1.9/−1.1 mm yr^(−1), whereas the ^(36)Cl data indicate 4.7 +0.9/−0.6 mm yr^(−1) of slip. Summing these slip rates with known rates on the Owens Valley, Hunter Mountain, and Stateline faults at similar latitudes suggests a total geologic slip rate across the northern ECSZ of ∼8.5 to 10 mm yr^(−1). This rate is commensurate with the overall geodetic rate and implies that the apparent discrepancy between geologic and geodetic data observed in the Mojave section of the ECSZ does not extend north of the Garlock fault. Although the overall geodetic rates are similar, the best estimates based on geology predict higher strain rates in the eastern part of the ECSZ than to the west, whereas the observed geodetic strain is relatively constant.


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ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Wernicke, Brian P.0000-0002-7659-8358
Alternate Title:Cosmogenic 10Be and 36Cl geochronology of offset alluvial fans along the northern Death Valley fault zone: Implications for transient strain in the eastern California shear zone
Additional Information:© 2007 The American Geophysical Union. Received 15 February 2006; Revised 16 January 2007; Accepted 30 January 2007; Published 13 June 2007. We thank Patrick Belmont, David Bowman, Stephanie Briggs, Charles Sammis, and Jeremy Zechar for thought provoking discussions. Patrick Belmont is also thanked for his assistance with field work. Permission to collect samples and access field sites within Death Valley National Park was granted by the Death Valley National Park Service Natural Resources Office. ALSM data were acquired by the National Center for Airborne Laser Swath Mapping (NCALM) at the University of Florida. This research was funded by NSF grant EAR-0207365, NCALM, the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory UEPP program, a NASA Earth System Science Fellowship, the Geological Society of America, Sigma Xi, and the USC Department of Earth Sciences. SCEC is funded by NSF Cooperative Agreement EAR-0106924 and USGS Cooperative Agreement 02HQAG0008. This is SCEC contribution 958. This study was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by the University of California Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, contract B539647. Gilles Peltzer, Lucilla Benedetti, and Isabelle Manighetti provided reviews that helped improve the manuscript.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFEAR-0207365
NCALMUNSPECIFIED
Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)UNSPECIFIED
Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
Geological Society of AmericaUNSPECIFIED
NASA Earth System Science FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Sigma XiUNSPECIFIED
University of Southern CaliforniaUNSPECIFIED
NSFEAR-0106924
USGS02HQAG0008
Department of Energy (DOE)B539647
Issue or Number:B6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140721-100630734
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140721-100630734
Official Citation:Frankel, K. L., Brantley, K. S., Dolan, J. F., Finkel, R. C., Klinger, R. E., Knott, J. R., . . . Wernicke, B. P. (2007). Cosmogenic ^(10)Be and ^(36)Cl geochronology of offset alluvial fans along the northern Death Valley fault zone: Implications for transient strain in the eastern California shear zone. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 112(B6), B06407. doi: 10.1029/2006jb004350
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:47363
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Joanne McCole
Deposited On:21 Jul 2014 19:47
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:52

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