Faulting evidence of isostatic uplift in the Rincon Mountains metamorphic core complex: An image processing analysis
AdvisorGlass, Charles E.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study focuses on the applications of remote sensing techniques and digital analysis to characterizing of tectonic features of the Rincon Mountains metamorphic core complex. Data included Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images, digital elevation models (DEM), and digital orthophoto quadrangle quads (DOQQ). The main findings in this study are two nearly orthogonal systems of structures that have never been reported in the Rincon Mountains. The first system, a penetrative faulting system of the footwall rocks, trends N10-30°W. Similar structures identified in other metamorphic core complexes. The second system trends N60-70°E, and has only been alluded indirectly in the literature of metamorphic core complexes. The structures pervade mylonites in Tanque Verde Mountain, Mica Mountain, and the Rincon Peak area. As measured on the imagery, spacing between the N10-30°W lineaments ranges from ∼0.5 to 2 km, and from 0.25 to 1 km for the N60-70°E system. Field inspection reveals that the N10-30°W trending system, are high-angle normal faults dipping mainly to the west. One of the main faults, named here the Cabeza de Vaca fault, has a polished, planar, striated and grooved surface with slickenlines indicating pure normal dip-slip movement (N10°W, 83°SW; slickensides rake 85°SW). The Cabeza de Vaca fault is the eastern boundary of a 2 km-wide graben, with displacement as great as 400 meters. The N10-30°W faults are syn- to post-mylonitic, high-angle normal faults that formed during isostatic uplift of the Rincon core complex during mid-Tertiary time. This interpretation is based on previous works, which report similar fault patterns in other metamorphic core complexes. Faults trending N20-30°W, shape the east flank of Mica Mountain. These faults, on the back dipping mylonitic zone, dip east and may represent late-stage antithetic shear zones. The Cabeza de Vaca fault and the back dipping antithetic faults accommodate as much as 65% of the extension due to doming of the core complex. The N60-70°E structures, not verified as a fault system, are a joint system pervading the footwall rocks of the metamorphic core complex. This system is less systematic. Spacing varies from 0.25 to 1 km. Both systems control the drainage of the mountains.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Mining and Geological Engineering