There are two ways to get to the Titus Canyon road from Beatty. I usually forget that fact because it's generally been years between journeys into the canyon. Consequently, I seem to end up on this route one time, and that route the next time, alternating routes without really thinking about it. Then I wonder why the road, the signs, and the overall lay of the land don't look the same as the last time I passed through the area.
|Beatty's main intersection: a 4-way stop.|
|The Amargosa Narrows: Precambrian Z rocks crop out on the right, left, and straight ahead.|
|The Bullfrog pit, as seen from the dirt portion of Airport Road, looking across a sea of blooming creosote (from the early May trip, 2009).|
Castor et al (1989) as being correlative with the Miocene Timber Mountain Tuff, which has age dates ranging from about 10 to about 15 Ma (Geolex). In fact, the host formation was mapped by Maldonado et al (1990) as the Rainier Mesa Member of the Timber Mountain Tuff.
I had a tour of the Bullfrog pit back in the late 1980s or in 1990, while I was working for Former Mining Company. Bond Gold was probably the operator when I was there, and the mine was just called the Bullfrog mine. We learned then that much of the overall low-grade ore is concentrated in veins, breccias, and stockworks, and we thought at the time the deposit would be fairly difficult to make money at. It later surprised me that a large company like Barrick got involved in the mining. (I have no idea how the economics really played out; so much can depend on the up front expenditures a company has made and the price of gold during production.)
The deposit formed near the end of an extreme extensional event that took place in the area between 11.4 and 7.6 Ma (Castor and Weiss, 1992; Weiss et al, 1995; Castor et al, 1999). Although ore is partly hosted in and controlled by structures in the upper plate of the Bullfrog Hills detachment fault, it's not generally considered to be a detachment-related type of ore deposit (although knowledge of detachment faulting and related structural models would be indespensible for making discoveries in the Bullfrog mining district).
A little farther down the Daylight Pass Road, about six miles from the center of Beatty, the Titus Canyon dirt road heads WSW toward the Grapevine Mountains.
|Turnoff to the Titus Canyon road.|
|High clearance 4x4 vehicles are recommended!|
This is what the October flooding looked like, during and after:
Don't get caught up in one of these!
Somewhere between the Titus Canyon warning sign and the Death Valley sign, you can look off to the north and see some classic Nevada ash-flow tuff formations, in this case tilted moderately along two detachment faults. The visible roads and workings are in the area of the Original Bullfrog mine, a little less than four miles west, as the crow flies, from the Bullfrog open pit.
|Tilted volcanic rocks on Bullfrog Mountain (the highest point in the photo), with the Original Bullfrog mine not far left of center.|
I got to fooling around, saving this Google Earth image of Bullfrog Mountain from a similar angle as my photo above.
|Google Earth image of Bullfrog Mountain.|
|The same Google Earth image with two kmz file overlays.|
|The photo, again, for comparison with the image below.|
|Geologic overlay of Google Earth (G.E.) image, labeled.|
As for the rest of the local geology, the mylonitized lower plate Precambrian rocks are easily reconnoitered in the light colored hill on the far left of my photo (lower left of the G.E. geologic image), and the tilted volcanic section is easily walked in the hills above the Original Bullfrog mine. The main volcanic formations, oldest to youngest (west to east, left to right), are as follows: Ts3, mostly sandstone, shale, and conglomerate; Tql, quartz latite lava flows; Tlr, the Lithic Ridge Tuff; Tbt2, bedded tuff; Tcb, the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff; Tbt3, bedded tuff; Tpc, the Tiva Canyon Member of the Paintbrush Tuff; Tbt4, bedded tuff; and Tmr, the Rainier Mesa Member of the Timber Mountain Tuff. The Op on these maps is the Ordovician Pogonip Group, here consisting of limestone only 60m thick. The Zm consists of Late Proterozoic metamorphic rocks that have mid- to late Miocene cooling ages related to the regional extension.
|The Death Valley National Park boundary on the Titus Canyon is marked by signs, a fence, and a cattle guard.|
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
Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Coaldale, Black Rock, Lone Mountain, and the Boss Mine
Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Black Rock to Lida Junction to Beatty
Beatty: Old Buildings, A Fold, and Onward toward Titus Canyon