Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

This research is part of a larger project based on the theory of the existence of a pre-ice age, Amazon-scale river that had headwaters in the southern Colorado Plateau and flowed north through the western United States and Canada before discharging into the Labrador Sea. Stream-rounded fluvial deposits in Montana and Idaho provide evidence of sediment provenance in Nevada and Utah, as there are no confirmed bedrock sources for these sediments in Montana or Idaho. The Miocene river bed has been offset and tilted by dozens of extensional faults in the region. Some faults bound large mountain ranges including the Lost River, Lemhi, Beaverhead, Tendoy, Blacktail Deer, Ruby, Madison, and Big Belt Mountains. The reconstructed trend of the Miocene river bed provides a reference line against which to measure active faulting. We constructed five balanced cross-sections of the deformed subsurface along the Miocene river bed from north-central Montana to southeast Idaho across the faulted mountain ranges and restored the cross-sections to represent an un-deformed subsurface. This provided valuable insight into crustal deformation in these regions. Knowing the timing and extent of crustal deformation has many scientific and societal benefits. Western Montana and adjacent Idaho occupy the Inter-mountain Seismic Zone and have the potential for large earthquakes. Detailed cross-sections through this zone can provide information for development projects in faulted areas, and target potential aquifer locations where the thick river gravel has been down-faulted into the sub-surface. This research will be an important contribution to understanding the evolution of the tectonic landscape of Montana and Idaho.

Category

Physical Sciences

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Apr 11th, 3:00 PM Apr 11th, 4:00 PM

Balanced and Restored Cross-Sections Representing Post-Miocene Crustal Extension of Fluvial Deposits, North-Central Montana to Southeast Idaho

This research is part of a larger project based on the theory of the existence of a pre-ice age, Amazon-scale river that had headwaters in the southern Colorado Plateau and flowed north through the western United States and Canada before discharging into the Labrador Sea. Stream-rounded fluvial deposits in Montana and Idaho provide evidence of sediment provenance in Nevada and Utah, as there are no confirmed bedrock sources for these sediments in Montana or Idaho. The Miocene river bed has been offset and tilted by dozens of extensional faults in the region. Some faults bound large mountain ranges including the Lost River, Lemhi, Beaverhead, Tendoy, Blacktail Deer, Ruby, Madison, and Big Belt Mountains. The reconstructed trend of the Miocene river bed provides a reference line against which to measure active faulting. We constructed five balanced cross-sections of the deformed subsurface along the Miocene river bed from north-central Montana to southeast Idaho across the faulted mountain ranges and restored the cross-sections to represent an un-deformed subsurface. This provided valuable insight into crustal deformation in these regions. Knowing the timing and extent of crustal deformation has many scientific and societal benefits. Western Montana and adjacent Idaho occupy the Inter-mountain Seismic Zone and have the potential for large earthquakes. Detailed cross-sections through this zone can provide information for development projects in faulted areas, and target potential aquifer locations where the thick river gravel has been down-faulted into the sub-surface. This research will be an important contribution to understanding the evolution of the tectonic landscape of Montana and Idaho.