Cross-Section of Death
Death Valley's geologic history mirrors the
geologic history of the entire western United States. And because
it's so arid, visitors can actually see the geologic relations from
which this history is derived. The block diagram below shows an
idealization of these relationships.
Sequence of Events as seen on cross-section:
13. Continued normal faulting.
12. Modern fans develop off
of modern rangefront.
11. Normal faulting during ongoing crustal extension.
10. Deposition of basin deposits during ongoing crustal extension.
9. Emplacement of Tertiary volcanic rocks and onset of crustal
(Block diagram implies wrongly that
normal faulting postdates the volcanic rock.)
8. Uplift and Erosion.
7. Intrusion of Mesozoic granitic rocks --related to Sierran arc.
6. Folding (and thrusting) during Mesozoic shortening.
5. Deposition of Late Proterozoic through Paleozoic sedimentary rock.
4. Erosion (unconformity between Pahrump and Late Proterozoic
not apparent on this block diagram)
3. Deposition of Pahrump Supergroup.
2. Uplift and erosion to expose basement rock at Earth's surface.
1. Metamorphism of crystalline basement rock at about 1.7 Ga.
Back to Death