Sunday, November 7, 2010
Virgin River, Utah: Geologic Age
Although the Colorado Plateau, CP, is at least as old as measured basaltic cones on its eastern edge- 41 m.y.- in the Rio Grande Rift valley, the Zion Uplift and its drainage through the Virgin River is much younger. The oldest basalt flows near Zion are on the order of 2 million years by radio-dating, and the Zion Highlands have been shown by the spiraling, CCW, of the region to be near this age also. So, what is the age of the establishment of the Virgin drainage pattern, and what has initiated this uplift? The Virgin River path has been shown by the rotation of the great Basin and Range (B&R) lateral faulting to have been created by the westward shear and rotation of this transition zone feature and to accompany the lateral movement along Hiway I-15 from the crossing of Ash Creek by the hiway (near Harmony, UT) to the Santa Clara River junction in St, George.
Additionally, the Virgin is easily seen on Google Earth photos to be the boundary between the CW rotation of the Grass Valley and Ivins (volcanic) features and the Zion CCW spiral culminating in the Laverkin Creek on its west side. These two harmonious features, are rotating similarly to two meshing gears- creating almost no heat of friction now, except for that in Pah Tempe hot springs at the boundary of the CCW-rotating CP and the CW rotating Grass Valley cell. That all of these drainages are young is shown by the side-by-side Ash and Laverkin drainages leading into the Virgin River at the Confluence Park in Laverkin, UT.
The first clue to the youthfulness of the Virgin is the shear walls of the drainage through the Virgin canyon in the AZ strip. Erosion is scant, and the river has cut sharply into the Paleozoic sedimentary beds leading to Littlefield, AZ. Additionally, the scarp at the western end of the canyon is drastic- finally leading to late Pliocene to Pleistocene beds in the Muddy formation of fine sands to siltstones. The Muddy undoubtedly has filled a basin just to the west of the Beaver Dam Mountains, and the uplift must be on the order of the same age as the base of the Muddy (since the sediments are derived from it). Below is a digital photo of the scarp and the Muddy formation near the town of Littlefield:
LITTLEFIELD TOWN AND ITS CREEK- MAKING A PORTION OF A CIRCLE FROM GOLDSTRIKE, UT- YIELDS CLUES AS TO THE INITIATION OF THE BDM UPLIFT AND SCARP FORMATION. THIS IS SHOWN ABOVE AND BELOW IN MUDDY FORMATION CLIFFS AND THE TRIPLE JUNCTION WITH THE VIRGIN RIVER (WHERE A SPRING IS LOCATED, JUST BELOW FREEWAY I-15):
This introduction is prepared in order to investigate in the field the outcrops, anomalies, and features pertaining to the Muddy formation and its relation to the scarp of the Beaver Dam Mountains, BDM, to the east, which border the deep basin. We must develop answers to the following questions:
1. Although the rocks MAKING UP BDM are as old as Precambrian, what is the age at which they began to rise sufficiently to feed the basin to the west?
2. The youngest (top bed) of the formation is a limestone or caliche sitting atop the Muddy silts and sands- which signifies that the area was an evaporitic basin with stagnancy, just prior to the down-cutting of the basin by the Virgin. This is noticed at the banks of the Virgin, as a level deposit which develops springs at the I-15 bridge. This itself indicates an anomalous shearing and fracturing of the Muddy, but mainly that the region was cut quickly by the Virgin after some event- to be determined?
3. How is it that the BDM scarp is high (300 meters of more), yet the Muddy shows mainly fine sands and siltstones?
4. What is the direction of the rotation of the BDM- left or right lateral faulting? And,
5. Since the BDM is a monocline, down-sloping all the way to the Santa Clara River, this would indicate compression. However, the Muddy basin is due to extension, so what is the impetus for this anomalous behavior? I have already shown that the B&R lateral fault is shoving Crust to the southwest along the north side of the Virgin river, and that this is due to sinking and CW rotation of the B&R. Is this Miocene (22 m.y. for the Pine Valley Mountains, PVM, on the SE side of the rotation) movement a forerunner of the Uplift of the Zion Highlands, and if so, what is the date of the uplift of the highlands?
Impinging on all this is the observation that the Pleistocene at about 2 m.y. exhibits the ICE AGE, where there occur several significant anomalies:
A. Ice covered a large part of northern North America, creating a depression of the Crust, and re-distributing mass from the oceans to the continents;
B. Vulcanism, which I have analyzed in the field, arose in Virgin drainage area, as well as in the Verde Valley, AZ;
C. Fracture patterns re-oriented (45 degree change) in the Verde limestone, as well as in the Hurricane Cliffs- where the present uplift of the CP is most noticeable;
D. Zion highlands spiraled noticeably upward (ccw), as shown in the following Google Earth photo:
E. And, the Colorado River was captured, so that it flowed westward, as shown by gravels on the west side.
The solution to this set of anomalies will involve the re-orientation of the master river, which allowed it to become the dominant western river- draining most of SW USA.
We will do more field work, to determine the stratigraphic record- which should show the results of uplift and subsequent basin filling of the Muddy Formation into the trench on the west side of the BDM scarp.
PHOTO ABOVE SHOWS THE LITTEFIELD CREEK, AS IT MAKES ITS ARCUATE "ROUNDS" FROM UT TO AZ. SHOULD YOU NOT BE CONVINCED OF THE ROTATION OF CRUSTAL CELLS, AS SHOWN IN THIS PORTRAIT, YOU MUST BE A "SQUARE"!
GOOGLE PHOTO ABOVE SHOWS THE ROTATIONS NEAR THE LITTLEFIELD CREEK, WHERE A JUNCTION WITH THE VIRGIN IS MADE. BELOW IS A SCARP CLOSER TO THE BEAVER DAM MOUNTAINS, BDM:
PHOTOS ABOVE AND BELOW SHOW HOW THE DIRECTION OF LATERAL MOVEMENT MAY BE DETERMINED, WHENEVER THERE IS A LINEAR THRUST AND A ROTATION AROUND A PORTION OF IT. FOR A SINK, THE ROTATION IS ALWAYS CW (INSIDE THE HOLE- WHICH IS WHERE THE FAULT IS LOCATED), AND ONE CAN SEE THE CW MOVEMENT IS IN THE SAME DIRECTION AS THE NORTH SIDE OF THE FAULT (TO THE EAST). THESE MUST! AGREE WITH EACH OTHER, ALLOWING MOVEMENT OF THE CRUST TO FOLLOW THE THRUST. IN THIS CASE THERE IS A RIGHT-LATERAL FAULT, IN ADDITION TO THE DOWN-TO-THE-WEST DISPLACEMENT (NORMAL FAULTING, AND THIS IS THE CASE FOR THE LARGE FAULTING ON THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE COLORADO PLATEAU.) THE ONLY FEATURE NOT SOLVED HERE IS THE QUESTION "WHY THIS PARTICULAR LOCATION WAS THE SITE OF THE SINKHOLE AND SUBSEQUENT ROTATION?:
ABOVE IS A VIEW OF THE REGION IN THE INDIAN OCEAN, WHERE ANTIPODES OF ZION AND CEDAR BREAKS OCCUR. THESE MAY SHED LIGHT ON THE FAST-MOVING (UPWARD) RISES IN THE REGION NEAR THE VIRGIN RIVER. BELOW THE INDIAN BASIN IS EXPANDED TO SEE MORE DETAIL:
Notice in the above photos that the antipodes do not exactly conform to the expected locations. This can be due to a number of factors:
A. There were multiple parts of the asteroid strike, spread over a 1000 km area;
B. The strikes were not “Head-on” but were at an oblique angle to the earth’s surface;
C. The strikes may have occurred at different times. This must be checked by drilling into the craters, and this is not likely until oil reserves become “More Dire”; and,
D. According to the time since the strike, the sites would have moved, under the impetus of Earth Tides, Coriolis rotations, or subsequent nearby strikes.
Below I explore the possibility that two strikes struck near to each other, in TIME and in SPACE, in the south Indian Ocean. Notice that the larger arcuate trace is shallower than the deeper, narrower trace. Should this represent the strikes creating Zion and Cedar Breaks highlands (which are still rising, as evident by erosion unable to keep up with uplift), then we have another case of asteroids creating strains long after making contact with the earth.
ABOVE IS THE CEDAR BREAKS-ZION GOOGLE PHOTO,AND BELOW IT IS ENLARGED FOR A VIEW OF THE ROTATION OF THIS FEATURE- POSSIBLY FROM AN ASTEROID STRIKE IN 2 SEGMENTS:
EAST OF THE "USUAL SUSPECT" LIES THE ILE AMSTERDAM- A .7 M.Y. EXTRUSION, WHICH MAY BE RELATED TO THE CRATER CREATED BY AN ASTEROID STRIKE. THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY USEFUL (NOT ONLY BEING AT A MUCH LATER TIME THAN WHAT IS BEING SEARCHED, BUT ALSO BEING A RESULT OF BASALT RISING, INSTEAD OF OCCURRING ON THE OPPOSITE OF THE EARTH:
This is just a scenario, but the following factors must be considered- even after finding that the scenario is likely:
1. Cedar Breaks, CB, is higher in elevation and larger in size than Zion. This makes it likely that the asteroid fragment creating the larger mound on its antipode was larger in diameter. Considering that the 2 fragments were simultaneous in time, then their angle of approach would have been similar, and the larger fragment would have created the largest crater (and also the deepest). This doesn’t jive, so makes an inference that the two were separated in time. However, the larger- likely striking first- might have been interfered with by the smaller 2nd strike. This case would yield the smaller crater being more obvious on the resulting depression seen on Google Earth;
ABOVE IS MY INTERPRETATION- IN THIS CASE, MORE TENTATIVE (REQUIRING FIELD WORK): PHOTO SHOWS THAT THERE IS A FAINT TRACE OF A SPIRAL ABOUT THE REGION, BUT NOT AS DEFINITIVE OR AS REGULARLY-CURVED AS THE ZION FEATURE. WE WILL DO SOME FIELD WORK THERE, BUT FOR NOW, THE POSITIONING OF LAKES AND THEIR ORIENTATION IS IN AGREEMENT WTIH THE CIRCULAR TRACE, AND IT IS GENERALLY AGREED BY FIELD WORKERS THAT THE REGION IS RAPIDLY RISING. I HAVE SINCE FOUND THAT THE CENTER OF THE CEDAR ROTATION IS A MIOCENE EXTRUSION, AND MY DATES MAY BE OFF BY SEVERAL MILLION YEARS. THE MOVEMENT RATE MAY BE ONE-HALF THAT SHOWN ON THE PHOTO (MORE LIKE 2 CM/YEAR, AND THIS IS VASTLY DIFFERENT COMPARED TO THE "RIP" OR TEAR OF THE ZION SPIRAL (10-30 CM/YEAR). ONE FEATURE SEEMS LIKELY: ZION IS A LATER AND SMALLER ENTITY COMPARED TO CEDAR BREAKS AND ITS VULCANISM. THIS INFERS THAT ASTEROIDS STRIKING LATER INTERFERE WITH EARLIER ONES' INFLUENCE ON THE CRUST, AS SEEN ON GOOGLE PHOTOS (THIS IS SIMILAR TO WHAT I FOUND FOR ICELAND AND ITS FAIRLY-CONSTANT POSITIONING IN SPACE, AFTER THE 41 M.Y. STRIKE SOMEWHAT OFFSET THE MOVEMENT CREATED BY KT AT THE CRETACEOUS BOUNDARY).
2. I have found that Zion is moving laterally, by shear, on the order of 1 mm/year. In addition, the RIP or Tear is creating an upward spiral on the order of 10-30 times this rate. This is somewhat substantiated by the shear canyons in the ZNP, and by the occasional landslide there-about. We will investigate Cedar Breaks, to determine whether it is also spiraling upward (CCW) ;
3. Although I have found that there is residual movement from asteroid strikes long after the time of the impact (e.g. Australia is still moving northward, some 250 years past the PTr strike- as evident by the Tonga trench moving the fastest for the entire globe), I yet don’t have a mechanics’ reason why the die-down of the strike continues. MY CONJECTURE HAS TO DO WITH THE RATE OF TRAVEL OF A DEPRESSION IN THE CRUST. AN ASTEROID WOULD CREATE A CRATER, WHICH EXTENDS DOWNWARD TOWARDS THE MANTLE AND CORE VERY SLOWLY (PROBABLY MAINLY BY TRANSMISSION OF A CONVECTION "WAVE", SINCE THE CORE IS MORE FLUID). THIS MAY REQUIRE A MILLION YEARS OR MORE, TO CREATE THE BULGE OF EMERGENCE (VIA EXTRUSION OF BASALT OR "TRAPROCK", SUCH AS THE DECCAN PLATEAU OF BASALT) ONTO THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE EARTH. CONSIDER A BOULDER THROWN INTO THE LAKE. IT MOVES WAVES QUICKLY, BUT THE WATER MAINLY RISES AND FALLS; THE MOVEMENT OF WATER OUTWARD IS MORE LIKE COMPRESSION- VERY SLOW IN ITS TRAVEL TO THE SHORELINE. THE VISCOSITY OF THE EARTH IS AT LEAST 10 BILLION TIMES THAT OF WATER, CONSEQUENTLY REQUIRING THAT MULTIPLE OF TIME FOR TRANSMISSION This is added to the hopper of entities, which keep my work going for such an extended period with adrenalin incentive; and,
4. We must consider that the Muddy formation mainly developed from master flow of sediments off the CP, before the main Colorado River was formed.
ABOVE IS ANOTHER SINKHOLE, AGAIN ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE BDM-VIRGIN MOUNTAINS N-S CHAIN. YOU MAY MAKE YOUR OWN INTERPRETATION, UNINFLUENCED BY MY ANALYSES. LOOK AT THE SHEAR INDICATIONS ON THE WALL ROCK, NOTE THAT THE SINK IS "ROUND", AND TAKE A TRIP TO THIS "DEVIL'S THROAT" SOUTH OF MESQUITE TOWN AND TO THE EAST OF THE GOLD BUTTE ROAD.
BELOW IS A MODEL FORMED FROM THE INFORMATION GATHERED IN THE FIELD, FOR ONLY 2 FIELD EXCURSIONS. THIS WILL BE AUGMENTED AS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS FOUND. INCORPORATED IS THE SINKHOLE AND ASSOCIATED RIGHT-LATERAL FAULT, THE ROTATION OF THE LITTLEFIELD FEATURE, UPLIFT OF THE BDM MONOCLINE, AND THE ROTATION OF THE B&R CELL ALONG THE VIRGIN RIVER: THE MOUNTAIN RANGE IN THE MODEL IS TYPICAL OF RANGES IN THE B&R, WHERE THE BLOCK TILTS UP TO THE WEST (OLDEST ROCK IS AT THE LEFT TOP OF THE RANGE- SHOWN ON THE WEST SIDE). WE CAN TEST MY CONCLUSION THAT MOUNTAINS MOVE TO THE WEST- UNDER TIDAL INFLUENCE- BY FINDING THE OCCURRENCE OF RANGES HAVING A DISPLAY OF OLDEST BEDS FACING WEST. MY MODEL WOULD REQUIRE THAT WESTERN-MOST RANGES, ORIENTED N-S, WOULD SHOW A PATTERN OF SHIFT OF WESTERN-MOST MOUNTAINS TO PLACE OLDEST BEDS ON THE EAST SIDE, THE CLOSER ONE GETS TO CALIFORNIA. THIS SHOULD BE APPARENT BY MAKIING A TRAVERSE ACROSS NEVADA, AND CATALOGING THE TILT OF THE RANGES- GOING WESTWARD. THERE SHOULD BE MORE TILTED-UP TO-THE EAST RANGES AS WE APPROACH THE SIERRAS. THE RANGE CLOSEST TO THE BDM AND MUDDY FORMATION IS SHOWN FOR DIAGRAMMATICAL PURPOSES, AND THE EXACT ONE LOCATED WEST OF THE LITTLEFIELD CANYON IS THE MORMON MOUNTAIN- SHOWN BELOW:
Notice in the above photos of features near the BDM scarp, on the north side of Freeway l-15, that there are several interesting anomalies. At each triple junction of rivers, creeks washes, or drainages, there is a geological anomaly. In this case, there is a warm spring (78F), right under the freeway bridge- which had hard travertine deposits in the past. It still appears to be murky with calcareous slime, and hosts year-long vegetation (muscadines). The fault shown to the east, on the edge of I-15, to the north, has an accompanying gouge zone, lateral movement (as seen by the shove of the sedimentary rocks to the north), and CW rotation of the basin to the west (sinking).
SPRING ABOVE LIES AT THE EDGE OF THE BRIDGE, AND EMPHASIZES THE VALUE OF FINDING A CONFLUENCE OF STREAMS. EVERY TRIPLE JUNCTION OF THIS TYPE FOUND HAS A GEOLOGICAL ANOMALY OF SOME SORT, AND THIS IS DUE TO THE ROTATION AND SHEAR OCCURRING NOW! AT THIS LOCATION OF BRITTLE SHEAR (PRODUCING HEAT). FIELD GEOLOGISTS HAVE REPORTED THAT THE MUDDY FORMATION HAS A 9 M.Y. BASALT AT ITS BASE AND A 7 M.Y. FLOW ON TOP OF IT NEAR LAKE MEAD. THIS BRACKETS THE INCIPIENCE OF THE RISE OF BDM AND THE DEPOSITION OF THE MUDDY FORMATION. FURTHER, VISUALLY, ONE CAN NOTICE THAT THE MUDDY CREEK CANYON AND WASH IS OLDER AND WIDER THAN THE VIRGIN CANYON. THIS DENOTES THAT THE AREA BEGAN TO RISE BEFORE THE VIRGIN BEGAN TO DOWN-CUT. ALSO MEASURED IS THE OLDEST BASALT FLOW ON THE CEDAR BREAKS RISE: A 7 M.Y. (MIOCENE) FEATURE. THIS COINCIDES WITH THE RISE OF THE BDM ON THE WEST SIDE, AND I CONCLUDE THAT THE FEATURE (OR STRIKE, OF A MIOCENE ASTEROID) AT THE ANTIPODE OF CEDAR BREAKS IS THE INSTIGATOR OF THE UPLIFT OF BOTH FEATURES (BDM AND CEDAR). ONE FACTOR REMAINING IS THE DEPTH OF THE MUDDY DEPOSITS BASIN (21K FEET) AND THE OCCURRENCE OF TUFF (VIOLENT VULLCANISM INDICATOR) IN THE CALCEREOUS-CEMENTED SILICATES. THIS IS IMPORTANT, BECAUSE IT INDICATES THAT THERE WAS VIOLENCE AS OPPOSED TO A QUIET BASALTIC FLOW, AND THIS IS FURTHER INDICATION OF A SUDDEN DYNAMIC (POSSIBLY AN ASTEROID STRIKE).
ABOVE PHOTO SHOWS SLICKENSIDES NORTH OF THE CEDAR POCKET, SOME TWO MILES EAST OF THE BDM SCARP EXITING THE CANYON. THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN IN ANOTHER SINKHOLE, WHERE THE LATERAL MOVEMENT CAN BE MEASURED, IN REFERENCE TO THE VERTICAL MOVEMENT. THIS CLEARLY SHOWS THAT THE LEFT-LATERAL FAULT MOVES THE BDM TO THE RIGHT, WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY CREATING DOWN-DIP TO THE WEST (LEFT-LATERAL AND NORMAL FAULTING OCCURRING TOGETHER). THIS FIELD INFORMATION IS NECESSARY TO DETERMINE THE DIRECTION OF LATERAL SHEAR. ARCUATE DRAINAGES AND ROTATIONS ARE EASY TO SPOT, BUT THE DIRECTION OF ROTATION IS OFTEN CONFUSING, EVEN WHEN THE BORDERS ARE CLEAR. THE ALTERNATIVE IS TO FIND "CAT STEPS" OR SLICKENSIDES WHICH HAVE HAD CHERT PEBBLES "DIG IN" THE OPPOSING WALL, OR TO LUCKILY FIND A CONCRETE SLAB SHOWING LATERAL DISPLACEMENT:
AN ADDED HELP FOR FINDING THE AGES OF ASTEROID STRIKES IS FOUND IN EXTINCTIONS FOUND IN THE FOSSIL RECORD. THIS HAS BEEN RECORDED BELOW, SO THAT AN ESTIMATE OF THE TIME OF A STRIKE (WHICH PRECEDED THE EXTINCTION) MAY BE DETERMINED. ONLY THE MAJOR EXTINCTIONS ARE CORRELATED, SINCE THERE MAY HAVE BEEN MINOR ONES CAUSED BY OTHER CATASTROPHES- SUCH AS MASSIVE VULCANISM, DESSICATION OF THE OCEANS, ICE AGES, AND "IRRATIONAL EVENTS"- SUCH AS THE GREED OF MAN:
WE GET SOME ADDED HELP IN FINDING MAJOR ASTEROID STRIKES, BY LOOKING AT THE HISTORY OF THE COLORADO RIVER- WHICH HAS BEEN DIVERTED TO THE SOUTH AT LEAST 3 TIMES. USING THE ASSUMPTION THAT AN ASTEROID STRIKE WILL HAVE AN IMPACT PROPORTIONAL TO ITS DIAMETER (ALTERNATIVELY, TO ITS MEASURED CRATER DIAMETER), WE NOTE THAT THE COLORADO HAS BEEN PROGRESIVELY (LESSER SO TO THE WEST WITH TIME, PRESUMABLY AS ASTEROIDS BECOM SMALLER WITH EARTH'S HISTORY) DIVERTED IN SIMILAR PATTERNS AS IT TRAVELS OFF THE COLORADO PLATEAU- SHOWN BELOW:
BELOW ARE MEASURED ASTEROID CRATERS, FROM VARIOUS AGES. THESE MAY HELP DETERMINE THE STRIKES WHICH HAVE CREATED THE VARIOUS TRANSFORMS- SUCH AS THAT FOR MAUI- WHICH HAVE CREATED RE-ORIENTATIONS OF THE TRACK OF THE HI-E ISLAND CHAIN: Glikson/Earth and Planetary Science Letters 236 (2005)
Epoch , Age Asteroid Igneous Province
PlM border, 5 ma C2. Karakul, Tajikistan (52km) 39 01’N,73 27’E
Miocene, 11 ma C1. Ewing structure, 55 km
mid-Miocene 14.8 Ries, Germany (24 km) 48 53’ N, 10 34’E
Langhian, 15.97 ma. 15.1+-1 ma 16.2+-1 ma. Columb.Plat. Basalt
Eocene-O, Siberia B1. Popigai 35.7ma(100 km) 71 39N,111 1’E
36.9 +-.9 m.y. B2. Chesapeake Bay (85 km)
36 ma E. Mistastin, Canada (28 km 55 53’N,63 18’W
39 ma Haughton (23 km) 75 23’N,89 46’W
40 ma Logancha. Russia (20 65 31’N,95 56’E
50 ma D. Montagnais, Canada (45km) 42 53’N,64 13’W
KT 65.5+-.3 A. Chicxulub (170 km) 21.5N 89.5W
64.98+-.05 ma S. India antipode 30.5S 87E Deccan Plateau
Cretaceous Carlswell (39 km) Ontong, Java
93.5+-.8 m.y. 115+-10 m.y. (120 km)A, B. etc.= RELATIVE CRATER SIZE; A = largest in Tertiary
A SUMMARY OF MY WORK ON THE B&R AND ITS VARIOUS MOVEMENTS IS SHOWN BELOW IN THE FORM OF A MODEL OR DIAGRAM. THIS PRESENTS A GENERALIZED SCHEMATIC, SHOWING THE OVERALL DYNAMICS DETERMINING STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY. THERE ARE DETAILS WHICH INDICATE DEVIATIONS FROM THIS MODEL, AND I LEAVE IT TO FIELD GEOLOGISTS TO UNRAVEL THE LOCAL CIRCUMSTANCES (WOBBLES OF THE POLES, THERMAL INFLUENCES, AND INTERFERENCES):
This is an on-going investigation, where we will add information, as it is gathered in the field and from Google Earth photos. The intent of all this is to introduce a technique for analyzing the movements of the earth, throughout time, using measurements and data not normally used by the GEOLOGY CULTURE. This allows independent conclusions to be made about features shown in the Crust, aside from the classifications and nomenclature normally presented on geologic maps and cross-sections.