Neotectonic and geophysical investigation into the active growth of the Avawatz Mountain Front, California
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] The Avawatz Mountains are an actively growing range near the intersection of the Garlock and southern Death Valley Fault Zones in eastern California. The Sheep Creek Fault (SCF) bounds the northeastern edge of Avawatz Mountains which are uplifting along a shallow, blind reverse fault at the terminus of the Garlock Fault Zone. This study aims to determine structural geometries and growth rates of the Avawatz Mountains and understand how growth relates to other rates of motion in the near region. Neotectonic folding is clearly displayed by Quaternary gravels allowing fold geometry to be constrained using terrestrial-based photogrammetric modeling to quantify bedding geometries. Quaternary deformation is also exhibited in warping of older geomorphic surfaces which were computed by high-resolution topographic surveying, photogrammetric modeling, and fault scarp degradation modeling. The subsurface fault geometry is imaged by a shallow seismic reflection profile. The SCF tip was determined to be ~60 m below the surface with a dip of 51 [degrees] to the south. Throw and horizontal shortening rates along the SCF are 0.23-0.45 mm/yr. and 0.2-0.4 mm/yr. respectively. Throw rates are consistent with known exhumation rates of 0.1mm/yr. (Chinn, 2013) in the Avawatz Mountains signifying that much of the uplift in the Avawatz Mountains is being accommodated by the SCF. However, horizontal shortening rates along the SCF are not comparable with the 5/7mm/yr. (McGill and Sieh, 1993; Bryant, 2000; Evans et al., 2016) of slip along the Garlock Fault, suggesting that most of the strike-slip displacement is accommodated by other structures west of the Avawatz Mountains.
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