This map report presents the geologic framework of an area in southern Nye County, Nevada, that extends from the southern limit of the Oasis Valley spring-discharge site, northeastward to the southwest margin of the Pahute Mesa testing area, on the Nevada Test Site. This map adds new surficial mapping and revises bedrock mapping previously published as USGS Open-File Report 99-533-B. The locations of major concealed structures were based on a combination of gravity and magnetic data. This report includes a geologic discussion explaining many of the interpretations that are presented graphically on the map and sections. Additional discussion of the geologic framework of the Oasis Valley area can be found in an interpretive geophysical report and in a geologic report (USGS Open-File Report 99-533-A that was a companion product to the previously published version of this map.
The map presented here covers nine 7.5-minute quadrangles centered on the Thirsty Canyon SW quadrangle. It is a compilation of one previously published quadrangle map and eight new quadrangle maps, two of which were published separately during the course of the study. The new bedrock mapping was completed by S.A. Minor from 1991 to 1995, by C.J. Fridrich from 1992 to 1998, and by P.L. Ryder from 1997 to 1998. New surficial-deposits mapping was completed by J.L. Slate and M.E. Berry in 1998 and 1999. The new bedrock and surficial mapping is partly a revision of several unpublished reconnaissance maps completed by Orkild and Swadley in the 1960's, and of previously published maps by Maldonado and Hausback (1990), Lipman and others (1966); and Sargent and Orkild (1976). Additionally, mapping of the pre-Tertiary rocks of northern Bare Mountain was compiled from Monsen and others (1992) with only minor modification.
The cross sections were drawn to a depth of about 5 km below land surface at the request of hydrologists studying the Death Valley ground-water system. Below a depth of about 1 kilometer, surface constraints offer only faint guidance, and the deep interpretations shown are constrained primarily by geophysical data, and are model-dependent. The estimated thickness of the Tertiary volcanic and sedimentary strata is shown on the cross sections with an overlain blue line, which has a very rounded form because it was modeled from gravity data. Several small faults that appear on the map were omitted from the cross sections for the sake of clarity. Within the Oasis Valley basin alone, the pattern of domino-style faulting shown on the cross sections is based on an interpretation of aeromagnetic data, but is strictly schematic.