Precambrian metamorphic rocks in the Beaver Dam Mountains display asymmetric, isoclinal folds with consistent fold axes plunging to the NW. These folds are parasitic and have a recursive nature that occurs on wavelengths from centimeters to perhaps kilometers as part of a NW-SE striking shear zone. The vergence of the folds indicates oblique shearing with a transport direction plunging 29° to the south. This shear zone may be associated with the collision of Yavapai Province island arcs with Laurentia. Structurally overlying, and adjacent to the metamorphic rocks are allochthonous and attenuated Mississippian limestone blocks and other strata debated to be either the result of mega-landsliding or fragments of the hanging wall rocks above a low-angle normal fault. We document previously unreported cataclastic damage zones tens of meters thick, an anastomosing zone of greenschist facies alteration hundreds of meters thick, and polished low-angle fault surfaces beneath these blocks. Other observations previously used to support a mega-landslide hypothesis are blocks of Redwall Limestone structurally overlying what was interpreted as Tertiary conglomerate. However, this contact is depositional, and the conglomerate is likely a sedimentary breccia facies of the Mississippian Redwall Limestone which is documented in several locations within the region. Additionally, some of the deformation and attenuation that was wrongly attributed to mega-landsliding or low-angle normal faulting is due to previously undocumented soft-sediment deformation. This deformation was gravity driven and accommodated by ductile granular flow, resulting in recumbent folds within the Mississippian Redwall Limestone and a prominent non-brittle detachment surface between the Redwall Limestone and the Cambrian Bonanza King Formation at Castle Cliff. This detachment was previously interpreted as the Castle Cliff Detachment, a low-angle normal fault, or as the slip surface of a landslide.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Geological Sciences



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Beaver Dam Mountains, low-angle normal faulting, Precambrian, Yavapai Province, basement, soft-sediment deformation, Basin and Range, Grand Wash Fault