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Geology of the Travertine Point Area, Death Valley CA: Implications for Structrural Evolution of the Furnace Creek Fault Zone

Baucke, Wesley James
The main goal of this thesis is to construct a detailed geologic analysis of the Travertine Point area, Death Valley, California. Breccia samples were collected and thin sections were prepared from selected samples. They were analyzed to determine if they are fault breccias or sedimentary breccias. The Travertine Point area was mapped in greater detail then it was previously mapped. A conglomerate to mudstone sequence was mapped and measured in detail. The Furnace Creek fault zone is a right-lateral strike-slip fault zone that trends northwest for approximately 200 km along the northern edge of the Death Valley region. This study found that the Paleozoic breccias showed strong evidence for being fault-related. At the outcrop level the formations are all in stratigraphic order. Hand sample and thin section scale show that they contain sharp, angular rock fragments surrounded by smaller broken up rock fragments of the same composition common to breccias formed by cataclastic flow. Right-lateral shear was observed at the microscopic level and thus matches the regional shear sense.