Why Is Nevada in Hot Water? Structural Controls and Tectonic Model of Geothermal Systems in the Northwestern Great Basin

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Conference Paper: Why Is Nevada in Hot Water? Structural Controls and Tectonic Model of Geothermal Systems in the Northwestern Great Basin

Abstract
In the western Great Basin, the Walker Lane is a system of right-lateral strike-slip faults accommodating ~15-25% of relative motion between the Pacific and North American plates. Relatively high rates of recent (<10 Ma) west-northwest extension absorb northwestward declining dextral motion in the Walker Lane, diffusing that motion into the Basin-Range. Abundant geothermal fields cluster in several northeasttrending belts in the northern Great Basin (e.g. Humboldt structural zone and Black Rock Desert region) and collectively define a broad, northeast-trending zone of high heat flow. Individual fields are largely controlled by north-northeast-striking normal faults. The Walker Lane begins losing displacement to the northwest in west-central Nevada near the southeast margin of the high heat-flow region. The abundant geothermal fields may therefore result from a transfer of northwesttrending dextral shear in the Walker Lane to west-northwest extension in the northern Great Basin. Enhanced extension favors dilation and deep circulation of aqueous solutions along north-northeast-striking faults. The individual belts of geothermal fields probably reflect loci of strain transfer.

Authors 
James E. Faulds, Mark F. Coolbaugh, Geoffrey Blewitt and Christopher D. Henry






Conference 
GRC Annual Meeting; Indian Wells, CA; 2004/08/29


Published 
Geothermal Resources Council, 2004





DOI 
Not Provided
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Online 
Internet link for Why Is Nevada in Hot Water? Structural Controls and Tectonic Model of Geothermal Systems in the Northwestern Great Basin

Citation

James E. Faulds,Mark F. Coolbaugh,Geoffrey Blewitt,Christopher D. Henry. 2004. Why Is Nevada in Hot Water? Structural Controls and Tectonic Model of Geothermal Systems in the Northwestern Great Basin. In: Transactions. GRC Annual Meeting; 2004/08/29; Indian Wells, CA. Davis, CA: Geothermal Resources Council; p. 649-654