Publication Date

Fall 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Jonathan Miller


accommodation zone, Black Mountains, Colorado River Extensional Corridor, Highland Range, Lake Mead domain, Whipple Mountain domain

Subject Areas

Geology; Geochemistry


A geologic map was drafted of the northern Highland Range (1:24,000 scale), rock units defined, and samples of the volcanic units were obtained and analyzed to produce a representative suite of chemical analyses to characterize the range of geochemical variability. The style, relative timing, and orientation of faults and dikes, and the magnitude and variability of stratal tilting was examined to evaluate the structural and magmatic evolution of the northern Highland Range in the context of models for the Colorado River Extensional Corridor and Black Mountains accommodation zone. Methods involved field mapping of the range scale structure and geometry of faulting, structural interpretation, and geochemical analysis of ten representative samples by X-ray spectrometry. Structural data was interpreted with stereonets; geochemical whole rock, and major elemental data was analyzed by comparing elemental oxides; trace elemental data was analyzed by normalizing to chondrite concentrations. The northern Highland Range is a ca. 3,000 m-thick sequence of volcanic and volcaniclastic flows and breccias overlain by regionally extensive tuffs (Mt. Davis and Bridge Spring). Unique mineralogy, geochemistry and lithologic character of some units and volcanic vent facies, as well as the presence of domes and dikes feeding the extrusives argue for local derivation from a dome/stratocone volcanic complex that was mostly restricted to the northern Highland Range.