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Complete Report for Antelope Valley fault zone (Class A) No. 1287

Brief Report ||Partial Report

Compiled in cooperation with the California Geological Survey

citation for this record: Sawyer, T.L., Adams, K.Kenneth, and Bryant, W.A., compilers, 1998, Fault number 1287, Antelope Valley fault zone, in Quaternary fault and fold database of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey website, http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/hazards/qfaults, accessed 09/21/2014 04:03 AM.

Synopsis In Nevada, the fault zone is comprised of predominately northwest-striking, east-dipping faults that bound the eastern side of the steep escarpment west of Topaz Lake. A northwest-striking fault in Wild Oat Mountain, that only offsets bedrock, is included in this group because of its similar strike and proximity to other northwest striking faults with demonstrated Quaternary offset. The Antelope Valley fault zone is generally located at the piedmont/range front contact, but geomorphic expression is discontinuous northwest of Topaz Lake. Topaz Lake itself occupies a large closed depression that lies adjacent to the fault zone and the base of a 700-m-high escarpment. This fault zone is poorly understood; reconnaissance photogeologic mapping and bedrock mapping of the faults are the sources of data. Trench investigations and detailed studies of scarp morphology of the fault group have not been completed.

Name comments The fault extends from California into Nevada. In California, it was first mapped by Curtis (1951 #5643). It includes faults in Little Antelope Valley and faults bordering the eastern side of Antelope Valley that Bryant (1983 #5633; 1984 #2883) considered to be part of the Antelope Valley fault zone. Bryant (1983 #5633) informally termed these faults the East Antelope Valley fault zone. In Nevada, the name refers to a group of faults in the northwest part of Antelope Valley. These faults were mapped by Moore (1961 #2879), John and others (1981 #2884), Dohrenwend (1981 #2882; 1982 #2481; 1982 #2870) Stewart and others (1982 #2873), and Hayes (1985 #2508). Hayes (1985 #2508) refers to the faults adjacent to and northwest of Topaz Lake as the "northern extension of the Antelope Valley fault zone." dePolo (1998 #2845) refers to the group of faults (in general) as the Antelope Valley fault zone, and this name is accepted herein for the faults in both California and Nevada.

Fault ID Comments:
Refers to number 130 (Antelope Valley and adjacent faults) of Jennings (1994 #2878) and fault number WL4 (Antelope Valley fault zone) of dePolo (1998 #2845).
County(s) and State(s) MONO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
DOUGLAS COUNTY, NEVADA
Physiographic province(s) CASCADE-SIERRA MOUNTAINS
Reliability of location Good
Compiled at 1:100,000 scale.

Comments: California locations are based on digital revisions of map by Jennings (1994 #2878) using original mapping by Bryant (1984 #2883) at 1:48,000. Selected traces of the East Antelope Valley fault zone are from Stewart and others (1989 #2885). Nevada locations primarily based on 1:62,500 maps of Dohrenwend (1981 #2882) and John and others (1981 #2884). Fault locations checked against 1:250,000-scale maps of Dohrenwend (1982 #2481; 1982 #2870) which were produced by analysis of 1:58,000-nominal-scale color-infrared photography transferred directly to 1:100,000-scale topographic quadrangle maps enlarged to scale of the photographs.

Geologic setting This group of high-angle down-to-east normal faults form the western border of Antelope Valley, a probable downdropped half-graben (Dohrenwend, 1982 #2481; 1982 #2870; Bryant, 1983 #5633). In California, the cumulative vertical displacement across the fault zone is between 600 and 1,200 m (Halsey, 1953 #5637, in Bryant, 1983 #5633). In Nevada, the faults are predominately northwest-striking and east-dipping; they bound the eastern side of the steep escarpment west of Topaz Lake. A northwest-striking fault on Wild Oat Mountain, which only offsets bedrock (John and others, 1981 #2884), is included in this group because of its similar strike and proximity to other northwest striking faults with demonstrated Quaternary offset.

Length (km) 12 km.
Average strike N26°W
Sense of movement Normal

Comments: Weak lineations on bedrock shear planes indicate dip-slip displacement with a minor dextral component. Although not studied in detail; normal sense of movement is reported by Moore (1961 #2879), Dohrenwend (1981 #2884), John and others (1981 #2884), and Hayes (1985 #2508).

Dip 50°-80° E.
Paleoseismology studies

Geomorphic expression The Antelope Valley fault zone in California is characterized by a prominent 670-m-high east-facing escarpment with "wine-glass" shaped drainage canyons and a well defined break in slope at the base (Bryant, 1983 #5633). Discontinuous scarps on alluvium range from 4 to 7 m high and have scarp slopes as steep as 32? (Bryant, 1984 #2883). Topaz Lake occupies a large closed depression that formed on the downdropped hanging wall block of the fault zone and at the base of a 700-m-high escarpment. Faults on the eastern side of Antelope Valley in California generally lack geomorphic evidence of down-to-the-west Holocene displacement (Bryant, 1984 #2883).

The fault zone appears to be buried by Holocene alluvium from the California border north into Nevada to northwest of Holbrook Junction (John and others, 1981 #2884). However, Bryant (1984 #2883) suggested that evidence for recent faulting adjacent to Topaz Lake may have been obscured by the construction of U.S. Highway 395. From Holbrook Junction northwest to the southern part of Double Springs Flat, faults bound the southwestern and parts of the northeastern sides of this northwest-trending valley and juxtapose Holocene and upper Pleistocene alluvium against bedrock (Dohrenwend, 1981 #2882; 1982 #2870).

Age of faulted surficial deposits Holocene, upper Pleistocene alluvium, Pleistocene pediment deposits, and Cretaceous granitic bedrock. In many localities, the faults place Quaternary sediment against bedrock (Dohrenwend, 1981 #2882; John and others, 1981 #2884).
Historic earthquake
Most recent prehistoric deformation Latest Quaternary (<15 ka)

Comments: Although the timing of most recent event is not well constrained, latest Quaternary movement is indicated on the basis of mapping by Dohrenwend (1981 #2882; 1982 #2870), Bryant (1984 #2883), Hayes (1985 #2508), John and others (1981 #2884), and Jennings (1994 #2878). In California, Bryant (1984 #2883) estimated that the most recent event probably occurred during the past 3 k.y. (late Holocene), based on fault scarp morphology and soil profile development on alluvial-fan surfaces.

Recurrence interval
Slip-rate category Between 0.2 and 1.0 mm/yr

Comments: Bryant (1984 #2883) estimated a vertical slip rate of 0.4 mm/yr based on a fault scarp on alluvium thought to be 3 ka (age inferred by Borchardt, 1984, personal commun., in Bryant, 1984 #2883) based on soil development. There have been no detailed studies in Nevada; however, dePolo (1998 #2845) and dePolo and Anderson (2000 #4471) calculated a preferred vertical slip rate of 0.73 mm/yr for the fault based on an data presented by Bryant (1984 #2883). The offset used was 5.8 m, the largest offset documented by Bryant (1984 #2883). The alluvial terrace reported by Bryant (1984 #2883) as Holocene is assumed to be 4-12 ka (with a mean age of 8 ka). The assigned slip-rate category is is consistent with all of the reported slip rates.
Date and Compiler(s) 1998
Thomas L. Sawyer, Piedmont Geosciences, Inc.
Kenneth Adams, Piedmont Geosciences, Inc.
William A. Bryant, California Geological Survey
References #5633 Bryant, W.A., 1983, Faults in Antelope Valley, Slinkard Valley, and along the West Walker River, Mono County, California: California Division of Mines and Geology Fault Evaluation Report FER-154, microfiche copy in California Division of Mines and Geology Open-File Report 90-10, 14 p.

#2883 Bryant, W.A., 1984, Evidence of recent faulting along the Antelope Valley fault zone, Mono County, California: California Division of Mines and Geology, Open-File Report 84-56, scale 1:48,000.

#5643 Curtis, G.H., 1951, The geology of Topaz Lake quadrangle and the eastern half of the Ebbetts Pass quadrangle: Berkeley, University of California, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, 310 p.

#2845 dePolo, C.M., 1998, A reconnaissance technique for estimating the slip rate of normal-slip faults in the Great Basin, and application to faults in Nevada, U.S.A.: Reno, University of Nevada, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, 199 p.

#4471 dePolo, C.M., and Anderson, J.G., 2000, Estimating the slip rates of normal faults in the Great Basin, USA: Basin Research, v. 12, p. 227-240.

#2882 Dohrenwend, J.C., 1981, Reconnaissance surficial geologic map of the Mt. Siegal quadrangle, Nevada-California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 81-1156, scale 1:62,500.

#2870 Dohrenwend, J.C., 1982, Surficial geologic map of the Walker Lake 1° by 2° quadrangle, Nevada-California: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-1382-C, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

#2481 Dohrenwend, J.C., 1982, Map showing late Cenozoic faults in the Walker Lake 1° by 2° quadrangle, Nevada-California: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-1382-D, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

#5637 Halsey, J.H., 1953, Geology of parts of the Bridgeport, California and Wellington, Nevada quadrangles: Berkeley, University of California, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, 301 p., scale 1:125,000.

#2508 Hayes, G.F., 1985, Late Quaternary deformation and seismic risk in the southern Sierra Nevada Great Basin boundary zone near the Sweetwater Mountains, California and Nevada: Reno, University of Nevada, unpublished M.S. thesis, 135 p.

#2878 Jennings, C.W., 1994, Fault activity map of California and adjacent areas, with locations of recent volcanic eruptions: California Division of Mines and Geology Geologic Data Map 6, 92 p., 2 pls., scale 1:750,000.

#2884 John, D.A., Giusso, J., Moore, W.J., Armin, R.A., and Dohrenwend, J.C., 1981, Reconnaissance geologic map of the Topaz Lake 15 minute quadrangle, California and Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 81-273, scale 1:62,500.

#2879 Moore, J.G., 1961, Preliminary geologic map of Lyon, Douglas, Ormsby and part of Washoe Counties, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-80, scale 1:200,000.

#2881 Page, W.D., McLaren, M.K., Tsai, Y., and Sawyer, T.L., 1994, Reconnaissance report on the September 12, 1994 Double Springs Flat earthquake, M 6.3 Douglas County, Nevada: Geosciences Department, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (unpublished report), 14 p.

#2885 Stewart, J.H., Brem, G.F., and Dohrenwend, J.C., 1989, Geologic map of the Desert Peak quadrangle, Lyon and Douglas Counties, Nevada, and Mono County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2050, scale 1:62,500.

#2873 Stewart, J.H., Carlson, J.E., and Johannesen, D.C., 1982, Geologic map of the Walker Lake 1° by 2° quadrangle, California and Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-1382-A, scale 1:250,000.