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Death Valley Geology:
A Walk through Time

Tin Mountain Limestone

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1,000 foot thick, 300-400 million years old. Formed in shallow oceans similar to today's coral reefs.

Phanerzoic eon > Paleozoic era > Devonian period > Middle epoch > Eifelian age

Ubehebe Crater
The Tin Mountain fault extends southward from here forming the right hand slope of Tin Mountain. The valley extending south from the craters towards the ...

Saline Valley - Cottonwood Mountains: Southern Great Basin ...
This subsection is between the Inyo Mountains and Death Valley. ... in the Last Chance Range, and 8953 feet on Tin Mountain in the Cottonwood Mountains. ...

Ubehebe Crater - Death Valley
A fault along the western base of Tin Mountain, responsible for uplift of the entire Cottonwood mountain range, lay in the path of the molten mass, providing an ...

Ubebehe Craters
... cutting fanglomerate deposits on the flanks of Tin Mountain in Death Valley National Park. Ubehebe Crater is a 0.8-km-wide, 235-m-deep maar surrounded by ...

Lost Burro Mine
The Tin Mountain limestone lies above that and the Devonian Hidden Valley dolomite lies below. The Lost Burro Mine was operated in the early 1900? when ...

Big Pine to Furnace Creek Route Guide
This giant red and orange hole in the flank of Tin Mountain was formed by a huge steam explosion when magma rose to encounter groundwater. You can hike ...

Volcanic Fields
Mammoth Mountain, a trachydacitic lava-dome complex, lies on the SW ... basalt along a fault cutting fanglomerate deposits on the flanks of Tin Mountain in . ...

Bighorn Gorge
Tin Mountain and Whitetop Mountain 7.5 minute topos. Comments: From the Scotty's Castle Road, hike down to Death Valley Wash then follow main drainage ...

Tin Mountain Limestone Death Valley Region

The Tin Mountain Limestone is a notable geological formation located in the Death Valley region of California. It is distinguished by its lithological composition and geological significance, particularly in the context of understanding the paleoenvironmental conditions during the time of its formation.

Characteristics and Composition

The Tin Mountain Limestone predominantly consists of:


This sedimentary rock is primarily composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the form of the mineral calcite. Limestone formations like Tin Mountain are typically deposited in marine settings where biological activity contributes to carbonate sedimentation.

Geological Significance


The Tin Mountain Limestone dates to the Carboniferous period, which is approximately 359 to 299 million years ago. This time frame is significant for the extensive development of marine ecosystems and the large-scale deposition of carbonate platforms.


The predominance of limestone suggests that the formation was deposited in a warm, shallow marine environment, likely a tropical sea. Such conditions are conducive to the proliferation of carbonate-producing organisms like corals and calcareous algae.

Tectonic and Regional Context:

The formation of the Tin Mountain Limestone and its preservation are closely tied to the tectonic activity in the region. The uplift and subsequent exposure of the formation are results of the complex geological history of the Death Valley area, involving multiple episodes of subsidence and uplift associated with the creation and modification of the North American Cordillera.

Research and Relevance

The study of the Tin Mountain Limestone is crucial for geologists interested in the Carboniferous period's marine environments and the biological, sedimentary, and tectonic processes that shaped the current landscape of Death Valley. The formation provides valuable insights into the ancient climatic conditions and helps reconstruct past sea levels and marine biodiversity. Its carbonate records are also important for understanding long-term carbon cycling and its effects on global climate regulation during the Carboniferous period.

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