Geophysical Unit of Menlo Park, Calif.

U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 2005-1367
Version 1.1

A Preliminary Investigation of The Structure of Southern Yucca Flat, Massachusetts Mountain, and CP Basin, Nevada Test Site, Nevada, Based on Geophysical Modeling

By Geoffrey A. Phelps, Leigh Justet, Barry C. Moring, and Carter W. Roberts

2005, revised 2008

map showing location of study area northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada

New gravity and magnetic data collected in the vicinity of Massachusetts Mountain and CP basin (Nevada Test Site, NV) provides a more complex view of the structural relationships present in the vicinity of CP basin than previous geologic models, helps define the position and extent of structures in southern Yucca Flat and CP basin, and better constrains the configuration of the basement structure separating CP basin and Frenchman Flat. The density and gravity modeling indicates that CP basin is a shallow, oval-shaped basin which trends north-northeast and contains ~800 m of basin-filling rocks and sediment at its deepest point in the northeast. CP basin is separated from the deeper Frenchman Flat basin by a subsurface ridge that may represent a Tertiary erosion surface at the top of the Paleozoic strata. The magnetic modeling indicates that the Cane Spring fault appears to merge with faults in northwest Massachusetts Mountain, rather than cut through to Yucca Flat basin and that the basin is downed-dropped relative to Massachusetts Mountain.

The magnetic modeling indicates volcanic units within Yucca Flat basin are down-dropped on the west and supports the interpretations of Phelps and KcKee (1999). The magnetic data indicate that the only faults that appear to be through-going from Yucca Flat into either Frenchman Flat or CP basin are the faults that bound the CP hogback. In general, the north-trending faults present along the length of Yucca Flat bend, merge, and disappear before reaching CP hogback and Massachusetts Mountain or French Peak.


Download this report as a 36-page PDF document (of2005-1367.pdf; 28.3 MB)


Appendix A—Gravity

View the metadata for the gravity data (gravitymet.html; 16 kB)

Download the gravity data as an ASCII file (gravity.txt; 8 kB)

Appendix B—Magnetic

View the metadata for the magnetic data (aeromagmet.html; 16 kB)

Download the magnetic data as an ASCII file (aeromag.txt; 648 kB)


Estimate of the depth to pre-Tertiary basement rock

View the metadata for the depth data (depthmet.html; 16 kB)

Download the depth data as an ASCII file (depth.txt; 648 kB)

For questions about the content of this report, contact Geoff Phelps.

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