USGS: A new geologic map of the Bodie Hills, Calif. and Nev., is now available. Ancient geologic processes created important mineral deposits including gold- and silver-rich veins in the Bodie and Aurora mining districts. Understanding the complex geologic processes that formed the Bodie Hills, and the historically mined mineral deposits within this area, aids geologists in locating and defining other potential mineral deposits. The comprehensive map can also be used by geoscientists to address environmental problems associated with abandoned mine lands and in studies of earthquake and volcano hazards.
The Bodie Hills covers about 1,200 km2 straddling the California-Nevada state boundary just north of Mono Lake in the western part of the Basin and Range Province, about 20 km east of the central Sierra Nevada. The area is mostly underlain by the partly overlapping, middle to late Miocene Bodie Hills volcanic field and Pliocene to late Pleistocene Aurora volcanic field (John and others, 2012). Upper Miocene to Pliocene sedimentary deposits, mostly basin-filling sediments, gravel deposits, and fanglomerates, lap onto the west, north, and east sides of the Bodie Hills, where they cover older Miocene volcanic rocks. Quaternary surficial deposits, including extensive colluvial, fluvial, glacial, and lacustrine deposits, locally cover all older rocks. Miocene and younger rocks are tilted ≤30° in variable directions. These rocks are cut by several sets of high-angle faults that exhibit a temporal change from conjugate northeast-striking left-lateral and north-striking right-lateral oblique-slip faults in rocks older than about 9 Ma to north- and northwest-striking dip-slip faults in late Miocene rocks. The youngest faults are north-striking normal and northeast-striking left-lateral oblique-slip faults that cut Pliocene-Pleistocene rocks. Numerous hydrothermal systems were active during Miocene magmatism and formed extensive zones of hydrothermally altered rocks and several large mineral deposits, including gold- and silver-rich veins in the Bodie and Aurora mining districts (Vikre and others, in press).
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