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Abstract

The case for a glacial origin for the upper Proterozoic Kingston Peak Formation is weak. Stratigraphic correlations and rock descriptions suggest a marine depositional environment for the entire formation. The Lower Sandstone Unit of the Kingston Peak Formation is best interpreted as an Antediluvian inner shelf deposit. It is underlain by other widespread shelf deposits, the Beck Spring Dolomite followed by the Crystal Spring Formation which rests on granitic gneiss. Thick accumulations of pUddingstones (called diamictite by many), interpreted as sandy and limy debris flows, overlap the shelf deposits. These, in turn, are overlain by rhythmically laid breccias and megabreccias interpreted as clast-supported debris flows. The debris was derived mainly from the underlying Beck Spring Dolomite and Crystal Spring Formation. At the start of the Flood large-scale catastrophic plate tectonics associated with the subduction zone to the west caused the pre-Flood sea floor to collapse. Sandy and limy debris flows moving at the rate of 15-30 m/s were instantly generated at the onset of massive local faulting associated with the event. A displacement of 950 m or more in some areas along the giant fault scarp converted the shelf into a 60° slope environment. This activity spawned seismic sea waves. Sheet flows of fluidized rock masses fell over the cataract and flowed across the basin at 50-100 m/s. In the deeper areas large scale slumping occurred as huge megaclasts or slabs hundreds of meters long slid downslope within a succession of high concentration turbidites. These catastrophic coarse clastic deposits of the middle and upper Kingston Peak Formation at the Kingston Range directly overly and crosscut into the Crystal Spring Formation and crystalline basement at nearby mountain ranges. This unconformity of extreme magnitude may correlate with the Great Unconformity and mark the base of the Sauk megasequence. After the Kingston Peak flow and slide deposits, widespread marine sediments, beginning with the Noonday Dolomite, began to be deposited as the oceans inundated the continents.

Keywords

Breccia, Megabreccia, Megaclast, Olistolith, Debrite, Olistostrome, Mojave Desert, Unconformity, Earthquake, Faulting, Submarine Landslide, Debris Flow, Diamictite, Sturzstrom, Precambrian, Proterozoic, Pre-Flood/Flood Boundary, Plate Tectonics, California

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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