Active faults and neotectonics at geothermal sites in the western Basin and Range: Preliminary results

Abstract- Although a general association of high-temperature geothermal sites and the structural controls provided by faults is evident in the spatial patterns of the western Great Basin, the ages of these faults are poorly known. In this study, we utilize low-sun-angle aerial photography together with field investigations to characterize the age and recency of faulting associated with selected geothermal sites. Although many Quaternary-age faults are distributed across the western Great Basin, nearly all high-temperature sites are spatially associated with Holocene (<10-13 ka) faults.Preliminary results show that of a total of 37 high-temperature sites, 31 sites occur directly on, or in close proximity, to seismically active Holocene faults. Five of these sites are on faults that are structurally related to historical surface ruptures produced by large magnitude earthquakes. New Holocene fault traces have been detected at several sites, including sites in the Needle Rocks, Empire, and Kyle thermal areas. Further work is being conducted on other similar sites, but these preliminary results suggest that the age of faulting, in particular the occurrence of Holocene activity on the fault, is an indicator of recent levels of crustal strain release and may provide an exploration tool in assessing geothermal potential along a given fault structure.

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Field Value
Citation Date 2007-01-01T12:00:00

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Original ID 50ec3aefb656b70647f32e38bcccb7da
Index Date 2016-04-06T15:13:08Z
Original Format ISO-USGIN
Original Version 1.2


Name Bell, J.W.
Position missing
Organization Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology
Name Ramelli, A.R.
Position missing
Organization Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

Geographic Extent

North Bound 42.173410379676
South Bound 34.860954301389
East Bound -113.96336341536
West Bound -120.42332435286