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Open-File Report 2006–1119

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Magnetotelluric Survey to Locate the Archean/Proterozoic Suture Zone North of Wells, Nevada

By Jackie M. Williams and Brian D. Rodriguez

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It is important to know whether major mining districts in the Northern Nevada Gold Province are underlain by rocks of the Archean Wyoming craton, which are known to contain orogenic gold deposits, or by accreted rocks of the Paleoproterozoic Mojave province. It is also important to know the location and orientation of the Archean/Proterozoic suture zone between these provinces as well as major basement structures within these terranes because they may influence subsequent patterns of sedimentation, deformation, magmatism, and hydrothermal activity. The Archean was the main gold-mineralization period, and Archean lode-gold deposits were formed at mid-crustal depths along major shear zones.

The nature of the crystalline basement below the Northern Nevada Gold Province and the location of major faults within it are relevant to Rodinian reconstructions, crustal development, and ore deposit models. According to Whitmeyer and Karlstrom, the Archean cratons of the northwestern United States and Canada had stabilized as continental lithosphere by 2.5 Ga, and were rifted and assembled into a large continental mass by 1.8 Ga, to which the 1.73-1.68 Ga Mohave province was accreted by 1.65 Ga. The Archean/Proterozoic suture zone has a...>>MORE

Version 1.0

Posted May 2006

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