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OST/Salt Lake Road

Stump Springs


Stump Springs - BLM photo

Physiographic Description

The Stump Spring ACEC is in Pahrump Valley, which is separated by the Spring Mountains from Las Vegas Valley to the east. The west boundary of the Pahrump Valley is formed by the Nopah and Kingston Ranges. The valley is relatively flat and as much as 25 km wide. The ACEC ranges from about 780 to 850 meters in elevation and contains a small intermittent stream that drains southwest. The ACEC is named for Stump Spring, which was used by early travelers through the area.

Geologic Setting

Pahrump Valley is on the southwest margin of the Basin and Range Physiographic Province. The region has experienced multiple periods of deformation, including Mesozoic compression followed by extension that began in Miocene time. The State Line Fault Zone, a zone of strike-slip faulting that strikes almost parallel to the Nevada-California border in the center of the valley, is within the Walker Lane belt, a major northwest zone of right-lateral faulting caused by late Tertiary to modern extension (Stewart, 1992). Analysis of gravity data indicates that the valley could have formed as a pullapart, transtensional structure along the State Line Fault Zone (Blakely and others, 1998).

The mountains bordering the Pahrump Valley are mostly composed of Late Proterozoic and Paleozoic carbonate and siliciclastic rocks, which probably also underlie the valley. The subsurface bedrock of Pahrump Valley is deformed and topographically complex (Blakely and others, 1998); it is covered by sedimentary deposits that are Oligocene and younger in age. These include Quaternary playa deposits and large alluvial fans on the northeast side of the valley (Sweetkind and others, 2003).


from: Chapter K. Mineral Resource Potential of the Stump Spring Area of Critical Environmental Concern, Clark County, Nevada
By Kathryn S. Flynn, Steve Ludington, Brett T. McLaurin, and Stephen B. Castor



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