Sunday, December 6, 2009
Lateral Faulting along the Virgin River Canyon
This starts the next phase to explore the large B&R lateral fault, occurring along the Virgin River- which continues SW-ward until reaching the Valley of Fire, NV State Park. WE have already found laterally-striated etchings on SLICKENSIDES (which not only show the horizontal nature of the fault can be noted, but also the direction of movement, if CAT SCRATCHES OR TRACKS are found).
This fault system is due to the Coriolis Rotation of most of the state of NV and part of UT- west of the WASATCH LINE (the Great Basin, B&R). This fault system is generally parallel to I-15 freeway, where fortunately the road engineers have found the shear zone for freeway construction. Not to worry about much shear of the roadway, since the movement is on the order of only 1 mm/year, but there is a section near New Harmony, UT where the road bed is rumpled and sheared.
Photo below shows the major features surrounding the Great Basin or B&R province in NV and UT:
We have explored the Pine Valley Mountains SE region, where the gouge of the great lateral faulting surrounds I-15, and where Quartz Monzonite from PVM has been transported from the original laccolith to sites near the Freeway.
Further, we have found strange "Cat Tracks or Scratches" which indicate lateral movement of the Monzonite:
Below is a photo I caught, while hiking near the Babylon area (north of Virgin River, Sky Mt. Golf area), which those in the GEOLOGY CULTURE would readily ignore. The rotation and shear-fractures developed as a result of the nearby Leeds volcano rotating, while cooling, creating a sharp fracture front in the mesa above the shack, a seep for drainage behind the house, and cracks and fractures in the concrete slab and walls of the shack:
This week we will travel south of St. George, to view the nearest Coriolis cell (formed by the fractures creating the Santa Clara River) and further south, which will be the subject of another field investigation:
We will be looking for more evidence of the B&R shear and rotating cell along the Virgin River- in this case for slickensides on the cliffs of Bloomington Hill, rotating CCW as a Reactionary Cell to the westward thrust of B&R:
Homing in on Bloomington Hill,
I have laid the preliminaries for hikes in the Beaver Dam region, where one may access at CEDAR POCKET, I-15, NORTH ON A GRAVEL ROAD. This area exhibits several Coriolis rotations, because of the CW rotation of the great CW-moving lateral fault, proceeding from PVM towards the Valley of Fire State Park, NV. This is expanded, to show the REMARKABLY CONSISTENT NATURE OF CORIOLIS CELLS WHICH ARE CREATED NEXT TO A KNOWN LATERAL FAULT OF GREATER SIGNIFICANCE: CELLS ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE RIVER (EXPRESSED BY FRACTURES AND SLICKENSIDES, WHICH ACCOMPANY THE RIVER PATH) ROTATE CW (SAME AS THE B&R-SINKING), WHILE CELLS NEXT TO THIS (ONE REMOVED FROM THE PRIMARY ROTATION) ROTATE CCW (RISING). OUR FIRST DISCOVERY AND EXAMPLE OF THIS WAS THE GRASS VALLEY CELL OF ABOUT 30 KM DIAMETER, EXISTS AROUND COOLING (AND THEREFORE SINKING) AND CW-ROTATING, DYING VOLCANOES. FORTUITOUSLY, THE RIVER TURNS TO ALLOW THE MORE NW-ERLY CELL TO MATCH WITH ITS COUNTER-ROTATION, AND STILL FITS WITH THE RULE,BECAUSE OF SMALLER CELLS SEPARATING THE LARGER ONE FROM THE RIVER!