|Coaldale, as seen in August, 2010.|
A few miles on, we pulled in at Black Rock, a spot which may originally have been just a little prospect pit in some black chert of the Ordovician Palmetto Formation, but which is now a semi-convenient place to stretch your legs (although it doesn't really offer much cover as a pit stop, and the Millers rest area and the town of Tonopah aren't too much farther down the road).
Coming to Black Rock from the west, Google Street View.
|Lone Mountain as seen from Black Rock, looking ESE.|
|A closer view of the southwest to northwest side of Lone Mountain.|
A couple ways in which the Cretaceous may have intruded the Precambrian so sharply and neatly are developed by Maldonado (1984) in the explanation of his map of the Lone Mountain area. I personally think the contact is structural: a low-angle fault (detachment, anyone?), and, in fact, the area is noted as being part of the Silver Peak-Lone Mountain detachment system (Oldow et al, 1994) or Silver Peak-Lone Mountain extensional (or core) complex (Oldow et al, 2009). Also, this map shows the contact as a detachment fault (Hulen, 2008, between pages 4 and 5). In the few places that I've seen the Wyman-pluton contact on Lone Mountain, I've noted shearing, faulting, or other complexities—and along the north and west side of Lone Mountain, the top of the pluton looks somewhat planar from a distance, and other planar features (jointing?) are apparent from some angles. If you're driving by, a good place to pull off to see these planar features (I'm really not sure what they are) is at the turnoff to the dirt road going to the northern Gilbert District a few miles east of Black Rock (Google Maps location).
|Google Earth image from the perspective of between Black Rock and the turnoff to the northern Gilbert District, and up in the air a bit.|
|Approximate mapped contacts of the three major rock formations, from Maldonado, 1984.|
|The same image with a few pink lines added.|
Turning back toward the highway, I stumbled across a few interesting rocks.
|Here's a zoomed in view of the same rock, focusing in on the quartz vein right and center.|
In fact, several smallish gold deposits have been found in the immediate area, and one has been mined (so far only one deposit has been considered economic).
|The Boss mine, a small gold deposit mined in the late 1980s, can be seen just across the road from Black Rock.|
|A zoomed-in view of the open pit area of the Boss mine.|
And that will be it for today!
Related Posts (in order of posting):
Death Valley, "Super" Blooms, Turtlebacks, and Detachments
Death Valley Trip, Part 2: More of the Badwater Turtleback Fault
Death Valley Trip, Part 3: Northward, and over Daylight Pass
Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Wave Clouds beyond the Sierra
Death Valley Trip, Getting There: A Hike to Pleistocene Shorelines
Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Walker Lake, Road Stories, A Bit about Copper, and Some Folds near Luning
Death Valley Trip, Getting There: A Jeep Trail, Folds and Cartoons of Folds, Even More Folds, and Boundary Peak
Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Highway 95, Redlich, Columbus Salt Marsh, and Another View of Boundary Peak
Diner, Y., and Strachan, D.G., 1994, Geology of the Boss mining area, Gilbert district, Esmeralda County, Nevada: Econ. Geology v. 89, no. 5, p. 1176-1182.
Hulen, J.B., 2008, Geology and conceptual modeling of the Silver Peak geothermal prospect, Esmeralda County, Nevada: unpublished report for Sierra Geothermal Power Corporation, 23 p.
Maldonado, Florian, 1984, Bedrock geologic map of the Lone Mountain pluton area, Esmeralda County, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Map I-1533, 1:24,000.
Oldow, J.S., Elias, E.A., Ferranti, Luigi, McClelland, W.C., and McIntosh, W.C., 2009, Late Miocene to Pliocene synextensional deposition in fault-bounded basins within the upper plate of the western Silver Peak–Lone Mountain extensional complex, west-central Nevada: Geological Soc. America Special Papers 447, p. 275-312.
Oldow, J.S., Kohler, Gretchen, and Donelick, R.A., 1994, Late Cenozoic extensional transfer in the Walker Lane strike-slip belt, Nevada: Geology v. 22, no. 7, p. 637-640.
Strachan, D.G., 1988, Economic geology and exploration potential of the South Boss prospect, Boss gold mine, Esmeralda County, Nevada: unpublished report on file at Nevada Bur. Mines and Geology, 11 p. and notes.