Present-Day Deformation Across the Basin and Range Province, Western United States

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Science  12 Mar 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5408, pp. 1714-1718
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5408.1714

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The distribution of deformation within the Basin and Range province was determined from 1992, 1996, and 1998 surveys of a dense, 800-kilometer–aperture, Global Positioning System network. Internal deformation generally follows the pattern of Holocene fault distribution and is concentrated near the western extremity of the province, with lesser amounts focused near the eastern boundary. Little net deformation occurs across the central 500 kilometers of the network in western Utah and eastern Nevada. Concentration of deformation adjacent to the rigid Sierra Nevada block indicates that external plate-driving forces play an important role in driving deformation, modulating the extensional stress field generated by internal buoyancy forces that are due to lateral density gradients and topography near the province boundaries.

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