Late Pleistocene - Holocene ruptures of the Lima Reservoir fault, SW Montana

David J. Anastasio, Christina N. Majerowicz, Frank J. Pazzaglia, Christine A. Regalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Active tectonics within the northern Basin and Range province provide a natural laboratory for the study of normal fault growth, linkage, and interaction. Here, we present new geologic mapping and morphologic fault-scarp modeling within the Centennial Valley, Montana to characterize Pleistocene - Holocene ruptures of the young and active Lima Reservoir fault. Geologic relationships and rupture ages indicate Middle Pleistocene activity on the Henry Gulch (>50 ka and 23-10 ka), Trail Creek (>43 ka and ∼13 ka), and reservoir (∼23 ka) segments. Offset Quaternary deposits also record Holocene rupture of the reservoir segment (∼8 ka), but unfaulted modern streams show that no segments of the Lima Reservoir fault have experienced a large earthquake in at least several millennia. The clustered pattern of rupture ages on the Lima Reservoir fault segments suggests a seismogenic linkage though segment length and spacing make a physical connection at depth unlikely. Trail Creek and reservoir segment slip rates were non-steady and appear to be increasing. The fault helps accommodate differential horizontal surface velocity measured by GPS geodesy across the boundary between the northern Basin and Range province and the Snake River Plain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1996-2008
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Active tectonics
  • Basin and Range
  • Montana
  • Normal faulting
  • Scarp diffusion model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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