|It looks to me like you can see Quail Rock from White Pass!|
The geology changes a little at the unnamed pass, and the road goes into a series of curves, while also going up and down quite a bit. We've entered the territory of the Tertiary Titus Canyon Formation. The exposures right along the road from here to Red Pass will be either Titus Canyon Formation or Cambrian formations, though not much of the latter, and none that I have photos of.
You can see the southeast-northwest trending fault in this geologic overlay I made on Google Earth (G.E.). The geology is from Niemi, 2012. Using the "Add Path" feature of G.E. creates lines that hang up in the air above the topography in places, making the contacts as drawn look a little ragged. They also disappear behind topography, going in and out unexpectedly in places, so they are best used for quick visualization. My drawing of the contacts may not be precise, as Niemi's geologic map wasn't associated with an air photo (as published, anyway), and his topo base was digitized somehow, so it doesn't correlate directly with USGS topographic maps (TNM 2.0 Viewer), which can be directly correlated with air photos. I also may have modified some contacts based on what I was seeing on the air photos (G.E.).
|I've labeled the foreground units, from EOgtc to Q (Quaternary undivided). I've emphasized the southeast-northwest trending fault I mentioned earlier by thickening the blue line to the right of the little canyon we're looking up.|
Below, you can see the sort of thing one can work with if geologic contacts are transferred to Google Earth.
|This map is a small portion of Niemi's 2012 geologic map of the central Grapevine Mountains.|
|This image overlays Niemi's map (above) fairly well. I'm sure there is some distortion, and I didn't mean to leave my photo locations turned on!! I've extended a fault or two based on the air photo imagery in G.E.|
We're getting closer and closer to Red Pass. MOH and I decided to pull over in a slightly wide spot near the next curve so we could hike around a little and look at rocks. I took the next photo just before that curve, primarily to grab a shot of what appears to be an example of two normal faults forming a small, asymmetrical graben on the hill beyond the curve.
|Is this a small graben?|
|A closer view of the hypothetical graben.|
|The top of the crystal tuff (xtl tuff) formerly marked the change from middle Titus Canyon Formation to upper Titus Canyon Formation. This generally greenish formation is now assigned to the Panuga Formation (Tg).|
|The two hypothesized faults, as seen from a different angle thanks to G.E. The lower, lighter cyan line marks the base of the crystal tuff seen in the last photo.|
|A bit of the Titus Canyon Formation, I'm not sure which part.|
|Here's a nice piece of gneiss (yes, we geologists really say things like that), a boulder that was once a rounded clast, probably in the Titus Canyon Fm, but possibly in the overlying Panuga Formation. "RUB" in Rubicon for scale.|
|We're looking in a southerly direction at the main switchback going up Red Pass. You can see why it's called Red Pass!|
With this next photo, we've begun to climb the east side of Red Pass. We turn back around, after pulling over to the side, to see where we've been. The unnamed pass is right at that little white bit of road nearly at the center of the next photo. Just below that section of road, you see the Cambrian part of the latest piece of our journey: The jagged reddish brown rocks on the right side of the photo (south) are Cambrian Zabriskie Quartzite dipping northward (left), overlain by a thin, dark gray section of rock mapped as Cambrian Carrara Formation (although on G.E. the rock looks about the same as the Cambrian Bonanza King Formation did near White Pass).
|We're looking northeast into the part of upper Titanothere Canyon.|
A Few References:
Lengner, K., and Troxel, B.W., 2008, Death Valley's Titus Canyon & Leadfield ghost town: Deep Enough Press, 175 p.
Niemi, N.A., 2012, Geologic Map of the Central Grapevine Mountains, Inyo County, California, and Esmeralda and Nye Counties, Nevada: Nevada, Geological Society of America Digital Maps and Charts Series, DMC12, 1:48,000, 28 p. text.
Snow, J.K., and Lux, D.R., 1999, Tectono-sequence stratigraphy of Tertiaryrocks in the Cottonwood Mountain and northern Death Valley area, Californiaand Nevada, in Wright, L.A. and Troxel, B.W. eds., Cenozoic basinsof the Death Valley region: Geological Society of America Special Paper 333, p. 17–64.
Beatty: Old Buildings, A Fold, and Onward toward Titus Canyon
The Approach to Titus Canyon: Amargosa Narrows, Bullfrog Pit, and the Original Bullfrog Mine
Mineral Monday: Close-Ups of Bullfrog Ore from the Original Bullfrog Mine, Nevada
The Approach to Titus Canyon: Tan Mountain
The Approach to Titus Canyon: Up and over White Pass