Geologic map of the northern White Hills, Mohave County, Arizona

Scientific Investigations Map 3372
By: , and 



The northern White Hills map area lies within the Kingman Uplift, a regional structural high in which Tertiary rocks lie directly on Proterozoic rocks as a result of Cretaceous orogenic uplift and erosional stripping of Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata. The Miocene Salt Spring Fault forms the major structural boundary in the map area. This low-angle normal fault separates a footwall (lower plate) of Proterozoic gneisses on the east and south from a hanging wall (upper plate) of faulted middle Miocene volcanic and sedimentary rocks and their Proterozoic substrate. The fault is part of the South Virgin–White Hills Detachment Fault, which records significant tectonic extension that decreases from north to south. Along most of its trace, the Salt Spring Fault dips gently westward, but it also has north-dipping segments along salients. A dissected, domelike landscape on the eroded footwall, which contains antiformal salients and synformal reentrants, extends through the map area from Salt Spring Bay southward to the Golden Rule Peak area. The “Lost Basin Range” represents an upthrown block of the footwall, raised on the steeper Lost Basin Range Fault.

The Salt Spring Fault, as well as the normal faults that segment its hanging wall, deform rocks that are about 16 to 10 Ma, and younger deposits overlie the faults. Rhyodacitic welded tuff about 15 Ma underlies a succession of geochemically intermediate to progressively more mafic lavas (including alkali basalt) that range from about 14.7 to 8 Ma, interfingered with sedimentary rocks and breccias in the western part of the map area. Upper Miocene strata record further filling of the extension-formed continental basins. Basins that are still present in the modern landscape reflect the youngest stages of extensional-basin formation, expressed as the downfaulted Detrital Valley and Hualapai Wash basins in the western and eastern parts of the map area, respectively, as well as the north-centrally located, northward-sagged Temple Basin. Pliocene fluvial and piedmont alluvial fan deposits record postextensional basin incision, refilling, and reincision driven by the inception and evolution of the westward-flowing Colorado River, centered north of the map area.

Suggested Citation

Howard, K.A., Priest, S.S., Lundstrom, S.C., and Block, D.L., 2017, Geologic map of the northern White Hills, Mohave County, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3372, pamphlet 31 p., scale 1:50,000,

ISSN: 2329-132X (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Introduction 
  • Methods 
  • Geologic Summary
  • Structure and Mineralization
  • Landscape Evolution
  • Interpreted Geologic History
  • Description of Map Units 
  • Acknowledgments 
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Geologic map of the northern White Hills, Mohave County, Arizona
Series title Scientific Investigations Map
Series number 3372
DOI 10.3133/sim3372
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description Pamphlet: iii, 31 p.; Sheet: 30.34 x 31.40 inches; Database; Metadata
Country United States
State Arizona
County Mohave County
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details