A Caltech Library Service

Geophysical studies of basin structure along the eastern front of the Sierra Nevada, California

Healy, J. H. and Press, Frank (1964) Geophysical studies of basin structure along the eastern front of the Sierra Nevada, California. Geophysics, 29 (3). pp. 337-359. ISSN 0016-8033. doi:10.1190/1.1439364.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


A seismic and gravity survey along the eastern front of the Sierra Nevada, California, between southern Owens Valley and the Garlock fault, outlines a series of basins with maximum depths ranging from 5,000 to 9,000 ft. These basins follow the front of the Sierra Nevada in a continuous chain with one interruption of about 10 miles near Little Lake. The gravity anomalies indicate that the basins are bounded by a series of high-angle faults rather than a single large fault. The seismic velocities in the basin deposits appear to correlate with the stratigraphy of the section exposed in the El Paso Mountains. A comparison of Bouguer anomalies with seismic depths indicates a density contrast of 0.35 g/cc in basins less than 3,000 ft deep, and an average but widely varying density contrast of 0.25 g/cc in basins 4,000 to 8,000 ft deep. A digital-computer program for automatic computation of basin depths from gravity anomalies was evaluated and found to be useful in this type of analysis. Changes in the depth to the Mohorovicic discontinuity cannot produce regional gradients as large as the regional gradients observed in the area of the survey. Either structure on an intermediate crustal boundary or lateral changes in crustal densities, or a combination of these, is required to explain the gravity data.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:© 1964 Society of Exploration Geophysicists. Manuscript received by the Editor November 20, 1963. Presented at the Thirtieth Annual SEG International Meeting, November 9, 1960. Financial support for this study was provided by grants from the National Science Foundation (G-19778) and the American Petroleum Institute. The authors wish to express their appreciation to the Western Geophysical Company who furnished shot-hole drilling services at cost during the summer of 1961. Dr. Clarence Allen provided the fault map in Figure 2 and contributed many helpful suggestions during the course of the work and the preparation of the manuscript. L. C. Pakiser of the U. S. Geological Survey cooperated with us during the recording of profiles 1 and 2 and contributed the interpretation of these profiles. Messrs. Ralph Gilman, Laslo Lenches, Shelton Alexander, Dave Harkrider, Robert Kovach, Fred Tahse, and Robert Mason assisted with the seismic and gravity field work. Drs. Pierre Saint-Amand and Roland E. von Huene provided assistance for the part of the work that was performed at the Naval Ordnance Test Station. The authors wish to express their appreciation to all of these people without whose assistance this project could not have been carried out.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
American Petroleum InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences1136
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140924-105645028
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:J. H. Healy and Frank Press Geophysical studies of basin structure along the eastern front of the Sierra Nevada, California Geophysics, June 1964, v. 29, p. 337-359, doi:10.1190/1.1439364
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:49991
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Oct 2014 23:06
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:50

Repository Staff Only: item control page